Will the historic tax credit survive?

Posted in: Cultural Resources


Milwaukee’s historic Pritzlaff Building - a successful rehabilitation project (photograph courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, credit Michael Sears)
Milwaukee’s historic Pritzlaff Building – a successful rehabilitation project (photograph courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, credit Michael Sears)

Donald Trump is the first president to have used the historic tax credit. As Congress and the White House work to rewrite the tax code, there is strong evidence showing the success of the tax credit.

The 2016 Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Annual Report lists $5.85 billion in rehabilitation projects certified by the National Park Service. This is the highest in program history. The program created more than 108,500 jobs and more than 7,000 low- and moderate-income housing units.

Not surprisingly, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation supports the credit. Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee asking members to consider the success of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit. He reminds members of the credit’s:

“outstanding record of past success and great future potential to create jobs, grow the economy, and support community vitality … while maintaining their historic character. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation wishes to express its full support for maintaining the historic tax credit as a component of a reformed tax code.”

The spending deal through September was favorable for other historic preservation programs. However, many federal and independent agencies with programs supporting historic preservation are subject to cuts in the 2018 Budget Blueprint.

I think this bodes well for the future of the tax credit, but uncertainty remains. Stay tuned for further developments as we follow tax reform and its effects on historic preservation.


Christina Slattery

About the Author

Christina Slattery specializes in historic preservation of transportation and engineering structures. She evaluates the significance of properties ranging from missile defense systems to road corridors, and develops creative mitigation strategies for projects.

Read more posts by Christina Slattery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *