Historic Tax Credits News Briefs - January 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience released the report, “Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change,” in October 2016, which highlights efforts in historic preservation against climate change. Climate change is deemed damaging to historic properties and neighborhoods, cultural institutions, tribal sites and other heritage assets. The Council stated that climate resilience should incorporate meaningful community engagement, fair and equitable outcomes, and targeted investments for communities; be coordinated among multiple stakeholders; be mainstreamed into everyday decision making; and be a factor in fiscally responsible investments. The federal government can support, encourage and advance climate resilient practices in communities and businesses through a mix of public policies and market-based incentives, which may include grant programs, tax credits, cost-share programs and technical assistance. The report describes three themes that encompass the opportunities for climate resilience. They are advancing and applying science-based information, technology and tools to address climate risk; integrating climate resilience into federal agency missions, operations and culture; and supporting community efforts to enhance climate resilience. The report is available at www.whitehouse.gov.

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On Nov. 4, 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) released the report, “Federal Historic Tax Credit in Texas: Creating Jobs, Building Communities, Preserving Heritage.” This is the fourth report in a series that strives to demonstrate the critical role federal HTCs play in the revitalization of older Texas Communities. In the report, NTHP describes how essential a tool the federal HTC is in helping communities attract private capital to invest in historic buildings. The report stated that $184 million in federal HTCs has leveraged $1.1 billion in rehabilitation development in the past 13 years. In the report are 15 rehabilitation project profiles in Texas, illustrating how the rehabilitation of historic buildings helps revitalize the surrounding community. Also highlighted in the report are several communities that have recently begun using state and federal HTCs. For the full report, go to www.savingplaces.org.

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The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued Nov. 16, 2016, a policy statement on incorporating historic preservation into community revitalization. The policy statement offers principles that can be considered by stakeholders to incorporate historic preservation into revitalization effort. The principles include using tax credits and incentives to promote historic preservation projects that preserve local assets. Also included was incorporating historic preservation in local planning efforts that focus on sustainability and smart growth, as well as engaging citizens effectively to help in identifying historic properties and cultural resources that should be considered for preservation and reuse. Lastly, ACHP stated that flexibility in the treatment of some historic buildings in Section 106 reviews can help achieve broader neighborhood preservation goals. The ACHP concluded that it plans for an extensive outreach campaign on the new policy, including webinars that will explain, among other things, the use of local, state and federal tax credits to stimulate historic preservation projects in targeted communities.

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On Dec. 5, 2016, TD Bank announced the investment of $2.3 million in historic tax credit (HTC) equity for the revitalization of the historic Spring Garden School into affordable housing for seniors and veterans in Philadelphia. TD Bank, in addition to the HTC equity, will provide $8.8 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity through its Community Capital Group, and a $9 million construction loan through its Commercial Real Estate Group. The school, built in 1927, has been vacant for nearly 40 years and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. HELP USA, a homeless service providers and affordable housing developer, is converting the former school into 37 apartments for low-income seniors. Of those apartments, 12 will be reserved for homeless veterans.

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The Nebraska State Historical Society announced Nov. 2, 2016, a new economic study confirming the positive impact of state rehabilitation tax credits. The study, performed by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska, states that the Nebraska state HTC generated approximately $79 million in economic activity and 1,033 jobs in its first year: 2015. The state HTC allows $15 million in credits for each calendar year through the year 2022. There is a 20 percent credit for all eligible expenditures, with a limit of $1 million per project. The study was based on the first 13 projects completed under the program. HTC projects in Nebraska were found to have created $35 million in wages for Nebraska workers, with $45 million added to the state’s gross state product and the projects leveraging more than $3 million in state and local taxes. The 2017 round of credits will be awarded to applications received after Jan. 3.

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