Many of you have asked us in recent days whether the Preservation Tax Credit has a chance of being restored in the 2012 General Assembly. With the General Assembly now expected to adjourn mid next week, we want to tell you where things stand and what you can do.
The Historic Tax Credit is still in play.
Over the last several months, the House and Senate Leadership have explored different ways to re-establish the Historic Tax Credit. It now looks as if the most likely possibility is legislation (not yet introduced) that would provide for re-issuing credits “abandoned” by projects that pulled out of the original program. To date, those abandoned credits total about $25 million. More are anticipated in the coming year. A bill containing this concept is expected to be introduced early this week.
Unfortunately, recent headlines have raised doubts in the minds of some legislators and some Rhode Island citizens about tax credits in general. Those of us who believe that the Historic Tax Credit is an important tool for community revitalization and economic development need to deliver a loud and strong message to all General Assembly members and particularly to the Leadership.
We ask you to help us make sure that the General Assembly Leadership and all General Assembly members know that there are many Rhode Islanders who understand that not all tax credits are created equal. The fears that people have about some tax credits and incentives don’t apply to the Historic Tax Credit. For instance, no Historic Tax Credit is issued until a project is completed – in other words, after construction workers have done their work, after new residential and office space is available.
Please help us make sure that the Leadership and the members know that many Rhode Islanders support their efforts to re-establish the historic tax credit, a tax credit which has already proved its worth. The evidence that the historic tax credit makes a real positive difference can be seen on the ground in communities throughout the state – in bustling commercial properties like Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket and along Westminster Street in Providence, in new apartments for urban workers and new affordable housing units. It can be seen in increased property tax revenues from rehabbed buildings. It can be seen in neighborhoods that have been rescued from the blight of vacant, derelict buildings.
Please help us make sure that every legislator in the General Assembly receives multiple calls urging re-establishment of the Historic Tax Credit. Call your own legislators and also call/email Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed (firstname.lastname@example.org, 401 222-6655) and House Speaker Gordon Fox (email@example.com, (401) 222-2447). To find out your legislators go to https://sos.ri.gov/vic/.
- Remind the legislators you call why it’s so important to restore the historic tax credit this year. (Here’s a link to some detailed talking points.)
- The Historic Tax Credit helps to stabilize municipalities.
- It makes Rhode Island regionally competitive.
- It presents a LOW RISK, HIGH RETURN investment.
- It will jumpstart construction jobs and attract long-term knowledge economy jobs.
- To urge Leadership to introduce an historic tax credit bill AND
- To vote for the bill that’s introduced.
Please try to begin your calls today, and please email us to let us know whom you reached and what you’re hearing.