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Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit Reauthorized in 2019-2020 Budget!

Good news on the state historic tax credit. As part of the budget package, the program was reauthorized one year ahead of its original sunset date. The program will now extend until 2031.

The new language incorporates several significant improvements over the current program including:

  • An increase in the annual allocation from $3 million to $5 million. (The per project cap remains at $500,000)
  • A 5% bump-up to 30% for Workforce Housing
  • Clarification on the timing of the application process and the awarding of credits
  • Clarification that the credit will not be subject to the provision in the federal program that the credit must be taken over 5 years.
  • Improved language and flexibility on the transfer of credits. 
  • The requirement to collect data on completed projects that will assist in demonstrating the economic value of the credits.
  • Program extended to 2031.

 While the small increase from $3 million to $5 million annually was much less than we had hoped, the improvements to the language and program have gotten us over some big hurdles. New guidelines will be developed by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the State Historic Preservation Office to incorporate the changes.

We thank you for everything you have done to help move this program forward. It is clear that your emails, phone calls, and visits did make a difference. Leadership allowed this language to be inserted into a budget bill and that is due in part to you letting your legislators know this this program is important.

We are declaring this a victory! Getting the program reauthorized a year ahead of schedule and making significant improvements to it is no small fete. Let’s celebrate!

Our work is not done however. In the fall, we will begin work to increase the annual allocation in the next budget cycle. Our tools and people are in place and YOU are part of that team. 

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Talking to your Legislator? 
Share our Brief on the Tax Credit Re-authorization!
 
Preservation Pennsylvania's Economic Study on the Impact and Potential of the Pennsylvania State Historic Tax Credit  
 
Preservation Pennsylvania commissioned Donovan Rypkema and Place Economics to undertake this study, "The Missing Key, A Study of the Impact and Potential of the PA HPTC”

This study was partially supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
 
 
 

Call to Action

Preservation Pennsylvania needs your support as we work to preserve and expand the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit. This important preservation tool will sunset in June 2020 unless it is reauthorized.
 
>>Now is the time to reach out to your Senators and Representatives and let them know how important a re-authorized and expanded PA Historic Preservation Tax Credit is to your work. (Click here to find your Harrisburg representatives.)

>>Share stories of your projects and let them know the economic return of these projects more than returns the credits allocated to the projects. Share the Economic Study or the Executive Summary.
 
READ AND SHARE this Advocacy Alert One-Pager.
 
If your work involves the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, now is the time to reach out to the Leadership of the both the Senate and the House with letters of support for the reauthorization and expansion of the PA HPTC (SB 541 and HB 1173). Please share stories of your projects and the importance of a strong state tax credit. If you can meet in person either in Harrisburg or in-district anytime over the next few weeks, you can download and print or share via email the Economic Study or the Executive Summary.

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/Senate/officers.cfm
Link to House Leadership:
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/house/officers.cfm

Talking Points

Reach out to your Senators and Representatives with your own place-making historic preservation tax credit stories, or use aspects of the new study that resonate with you. For example:
  • The HPTC pays for itself. As noted in Preservation Pennsylvania’s study “The PA-HPTC program has awarded $15.0 million in credits, which has supported projects with a total projected value of more than $700 million.”
  • The HPTC works in small towns as well as it works in big metropolitan centers. Old buildings that help define local character are transformed into thriving community places -- while creating jobs and local investment.
  • The HPTC creates jobs and generates positive investment. As noted in Preservation Pennsylvania’s study “A $1,000,000 investment in a historic rehabilitation project generates 6.4 direct jobs and 5.6 indirect/induced jobs in Pennsylvania.” The study also found “If the cap on the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit were increased to $50 million per year, it is anticipated an additional 2,800 jobs and $160 million in labor income would be generated.
 

KEY CHANGES

  • Annual Allocation of $30 million
  • Increased per project cap to $2.5 million
  • Additional 5% credit for workforce housing
  • Clarification that the credit can be used in one year (compared to 5 years for federal)
  • Standardization of timing for application, review and allocation
Since the tax credit was established in 2012, it has facilitated the rehabilitation and reuse of properties all across the state, creating jobs and revitalizing communities.
 
LATEST UPDATE: 
 
June 3, 2019  SB 541 received second consideration in the Senate and was referred to the Appropriations Committee.
 
May 15, 2019 Preservation Pennsylvania released “The Missing Key, A Study of the Impact and Potential
of the PA HPTC” at a press conference with Senator Argall and Representative Freeman. Click for full study or Executive Summary.
 
May 8, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee voted SB 541 out of committee and it is now in the Senate for first consideration. Reach out to your Senators and tell them how important the re-authorization and expansion of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit is to your work. 
 
Need to check who your representatives in Harrisburg are? Click here.
 
Your support is needed to help fund completion of the PA State Tax Credit Economic Study. Help us match a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant from the PA SHPO. Your financial support is needed to help move this effort forward and ensure that Pennsylvania’s historic tax credit not only stays in place but is even stronger.
 
 
Successful passage of this legislation will require a sustained advocacy and outreach effort. As the statewide voice for historic preservation, Preservation Pennsylvania will devote significant staff time to building a coalition, preparing educational materials, making presentations, speaking to legislators and groups across the state and ensuring that this important program is retained and expanded.
 
The following individuals and organizations recognize the value of a robust state historic preservation tax credit and support efforts to expand and reauthorize this valuable tool for preservation and economic revitalization. If you'd like to sign your name as part of our Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit Coalition, click here.
 
10,000 Friends
AIA Pennsylvania
Charles Balducci
Suzanna Barucco, Principal, sbk + partners, LLC, historic preservation consulting
Maria Foss
Cindy Hamilton
Hogestown Heritage Committee
Vern McKissick
MM Partners, llc real estate development
Bobbie Jean Owens
Pennsylvania Downtown Center
Sandy Rosenberg, Post Commercial Real Estate
A. Roy Smith
Paul Steinke, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelplhia
Jeremy Young, Community & Economic Development Manager
Becky Zeller
 

LEARN MORE

Learn more about the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit with the resources listed below.
 
 
* The PA HPTC can benefit projects all across the state. Click here to see where.
 
* Where could state historic preservation tax credits be utilized? Click here for a list of eligible National Register Historic Districts in Pennsylvania. 
 
This post from the PA State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) offers an overview of what the tax credit does, how it works, and how it benefits communities.
 
NTHP HTC Policy ReportThe National Trust for Historic Preservation offers this policy review of State Historic Preservation Tax Credits (2016)
 
*  The National Trust for Historic Preservation also studied the return on investment (ROI) for the state historic preservation tax credit in this policy study (2015) indicating a positive return on their investment in the post-construction phase.
 
*  The state's Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) provides revenue projections for use in the state budget process along with impartial and timely analysis of fiscal, economic and budgetary issues to assist Commonwealth residents and the General Assembly in their evaluation of policy decisions. Read its performance-based budget and efficiency review of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
 
 
The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit is good for Pennsylvania, good for its valuable historic resources, and good for the economy, generating jobs, new housing, and tax revenue.
 

 WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING

Check back for updates!
 
JUNE 3 2019
 SB 541 received second consideration by the Senate and was referred to the Appropriations Committee. HB 1173 is in the House Finance Committee.
MAY 15 2019
 Preservation Pennsylvania released “The Missing Key, A Study of the Impact and Potential of the PA HPTC” at a press conference with Senator Argall and Representative Freeman. Click for full study or Executive Summary. 
APR 9 2019
 Senator David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Senator Judith Schwank (D-Berks) introduced legislation for the re-authorization and expansion of the PA HPTC (SB 541) in the Senate. Representative Robert Freeman (D-Northampton) and Representative R. Lee James (R-Butler/Venago) introduced a companion bill (HB 1173) in the House.
FEB 8 2019
  Representative R. Lee James, Representative Jared G. Solomon, Representative Aaron Bernstine, Representative Stephen Barrar, Representative Michael H. Schlossberg, Representative Stephen Kinsey, Representative Steve Samuelson, Representative David R. Millard, Representative Chris Sainato, Representative Thomas P. Murt, Representative Carol Hill-Evans, Representative Greg Vitali, and Representative Patrick J. Harkins have all signed on as co-sponsors in support of the house HPTC.
JAN 30 2019
 
Representative Freeman and Representative James have circulated a co-sponsorship memo for the PA Historic Preservation Tax Credit in the house. You can find it here: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=28086
 
JAN 11 2019
 
Senator David Argall is circulating his co-sponsorship memo for the re-introduction of the bill in the new session in the Senate. Here is the link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=27631
Thanks to those of you who have already reached out, these senators have signed on to co-sponsor: Blake, Schwank, Martin, Farnese, Kearney, Killion, Costa, Ward, and Yudichak.
 
OCT 2018
 
Working with recommendations from developers, historic preservation professionals, and other statewide nonprofits working in the field of economic development, Senator Argall’s staff drafted legislation to reauthorize, expand, and improve the credit. Senator David Argall introduced SB 1279 in October 2018.
 
2018  
Preservation Pennsylvania engaged Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics to undertake a study of the economic benefits of state tax credits, comparing Pennsylvania’s program to other states. Early findings show that with strong tax credit programs, states have more projects and increased investment.
 
APRIL 2018
  Senator David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) hosted a workshop in April 2018 to hear from Preservation Pennsylvania, PHMC, DCED, and other state agencies on the value of the state historic preservation tax credit and ways to improve it. You can view the proceedings and review the documentation here.
 

 
 Mindy Crawford at Senator Argall's April workshop
 Mindy Crawford, Executive Director of Preservation Pennsylvania, at Senator Argall's April workshop on the state historic preservation tax credit.
 




 
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