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Federal Historic Tax Credit and resulting private investment on chopping block of tax “reform”

Grow Smart RI connects with State’s Congressional delegation, Governor’s Office and Mayors to help highlight what’s at stake for Rhode Island

The U.S. House GOP Tax Plan zeroes out the Federal Historic Tax Credit (“HTC”) and the counterpart plan in the Senate, after a recent amendment, retains the Federal HTC but requires it to be taken over five years.

We at Grow Smart RI are very concerned about the distinct possibility of the Federal HTC being eliminated or reduced.  Federal HTC funded historic rehab has played a critical role for more than a decade in RI’s community and economic revitalization activity. In fact, based on our recent analysis of data from Rutgers University and the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal HTC program arguably plays a stronger role in RI than anywhere else in the country in promoting such activity – often in tandem with the State Historic Credit, and more recently the Rebuild RI incentive program.

For these and other reasons spelled out below, Grow Smart RI is partnering with our state, local and national allies in mounting a full court press to preserve the Federal HTC in its entirety:

  1. Based on Grow Smart RI’s analysis of data from the US. Census Bureau and a 2017 Rutgers University report on each state’s level of Federal HTC related historic rehab activity, RI is number 1 in the country on a per capita basis for its volume of recent historic rehab expenditures associated with the Federal HTC.
  2. Most historic rehab projects in RI can only be viable if they use the Federal HTC– usually in conjunction with other revitalization incentives such as the State HTC and or Rebuild RI. In fact, the vast majority of the more than 200 historic rehab projects competed in RI since 2002 have used both the Federal and State HTC’s.
  3. In the Rebuild RI program to date, 8 of the 9 historic rehab projects awarded access to the Rebuild RI Credit are also enrolled in the Federal HTC program.

There are a number of threats to RI in the GOP’s tax “reform” proposals, including the potential elimination of the State and Local Tax Deduction, but, from an economic development and community revitalization perspective, the National GOP’s proposed slashing of the Federal HTC is probably the single biggest clear and present danger for RI.

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Meanwhile, here in Rhody…

Grow Smart RI partnering with local allies to recapitalize the highly successful but virtually unfunded State Historic Tax Credit 

During the last 15 years, the Rhode Island State Historic Tax Credit has been a very effective incentive for repurposing vacant and underutilized historic buildings that revitalize our urban and town centers where access to transit and other vital services is most abundant. These projects often involve brownfield remediation, neighborhood revitalization, creation of a significant number of new jobs, dramatic increases in the assessed value of rehabbed and neighboring properties, enhanced public safety and an alternative to environmentally harmful development on farmland and forestland.

The program, now operating only with modest and unpredictable funding from the recycling of previously authorized and unused credits and processing fee income, has a waiting list of 32 projects.  These projects represent more than a quarter billion dollars in proposed redevelopment investment in communities across Rhode Island.

– Curbs to historic tax credit could hurt R.I. – PBN, 11/17/17

– Take the PBN poll on funding the State Historic Tax Credit
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