Congressman Higgins Co-leads the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act
Bipartisan Bill Supports Expansion of Federal Tax Credit Driving Reuse of Historic Properties in WNY
Washington, DC, May 25, 2023
Tags: Community Revitalization
Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) announced introduction of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity (HTC-GO) Act (H.R. 1785). The bipartisan legislation expands and enhances the federal Historic Tax Credit program.
Higgins said, “Over the last two decades, my Western New York Community has seen over $1.2 billion of investments in more than 250 rehab projects made possible thanks to historic tax credits. By restoring and expanding the historic tax credit program through the Historic Tax Credit-GO Act, we give the country an opportunity to rebuild stronger and communities the tools to invest in the revitalization of their neighborhoods. “
First established in 1976, Historic Tax Credits incentivize private sector investment in the rehab of older buildings by providing a 20% federal tax credit toward improving certified historic structures. New York State offers an additional state historic tax credit of 20% or 30% on eligible projects.
The HTC-GO Act:
· Provides a temporary increase in the federal tax credit from 20% to 30% between 2023-2028
· Permanently increases the credit to 30% for eligible smaller projects
· Makes more buildings eligible by reducing the substantial rehab threshold
Higgins noted the success of the Historic Tax Credit program is evident across Western New York: conversion of a vacant school on Portage Road in Niagara Falls into Niagara City Lofts, the transformation of a historic grain elevator on Elk Street in South Buffalo into offices and a brewery, the restoration of a 19th-century church on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo into the Asbury Hall event center, the revitalization of a former power house into Remington lofts and restaurant on Sweeney Street in North Tonawanda, and the transition of a factory into a workforce training center on Northland in Buffalo, just to name a few of the more than 250 projects made possible thanks to the credit over the last two decades.
A report released in August 2022 by PlaceEconomics titled “Everyone’s Heritage: The Impacts of Historic Preservation in Buffalo” discusses the economic impact of local historic preservation efforts noting “The federal and state historic tax credit has catalyzed investments in Buffalo’s historic buildings, attracting more than $1 billion in direct investment since 2007.”
In addition to bringing old buildings back to life, preservation drives heritage tourism which, according to the report, contributes $658 million to the Western New York economy annually.
Historic Tax Credits have attracted over $122 billion in private capital nationwide over the last 45 years, supporting nearly three million jobs and rehabilitating more than 45,000 buildings across the United States.
Joining Congressman Higgins in introducing the bill in the House are Congressmembers Darin LaHood (R-IL-16) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3). The bipartisan, bicameral bill was also introduced by Senators Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate.
May is recognized as National Preservation Month. For more information on National Parks Service’s efforts to preserve historic places through the Historic Tax Credit program, National Heritage Areas including the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, and other programs visit: www.nps.gov/subjects/historicpreservation