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Historic Tax Credit Supporters Make Case For Program to Circumvent Tax Reform Ax

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Members of the National Trust for Historic Preservation are seeking to use a recent report on the costs and benefits of the federal historic tax credit as a bulwark against congressional efforts to eliminate the tax credit as a part of tax reform.

The HTC program has resulted in a net benefit to the U.S. Treasury, “generating $25.9 billion in federal tax receipts over the life of the program, compared with $20.5 billion in credits allocated,” according to a July 31 study conducted by the National Park Service (NPS) and Rutgers University's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

Additionally, the program has had a positive cumulative impact on a variety of national and state economic measures since 1978, Some of the program's positive economic impacts include $245.2 billion in output, $121.2 billion in gross domestic product, $89.1 billion in income, and $35.5 billion in state and federal taxes, the study found.

More recently, the program has also served as a bulwark against further economic decline for the construction and manufacturing industries coming out of the housing crisis and economic recession, the study said. In fiscal year 2012, HTC-related investments generated about 58,000 jobs, the majority of which were in these two industries, and were responsible for creating $3.4 billion in GDP, the report said.

The HTC is used to preserve and rehabilitate historic buildings, as well as promote economic revitalization in rural and urban areas. Investors receive a 20 percent tax credit for their expenses used in rehabilitating historic properties, or 10 percent for rehabilitation of non-historic buildings placed in service before 1936. “Targeted to income-producing buildings, the HTC program is the largest and most effective Federal program specifically supporting historic preservation,” the report said.

Text of the report, Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit for FY 2012, is at

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