Historic building tax credit program survives Senate, still in doubt in conference committee

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Developers and investors are waiting to see if the historic tax credit as U.S. House and Senate members craft the Republican tax reform bill.

Credited with spurring historic preservation and redevelopment by enabling developers to recoup 20 percent of the cost of renovating a historic building, the program was spared in the Senate’s version of the tax reform bill thanks to efforts by Louisiana’s own Sen. Bill Cassidy.

But the program wasn’t included in the House version originally passed and the Senate version will still require reconciliation.

 

The historic building tax credit program has been a vital part of the effort to revamp downtown Shreveport. Shreveport Downtown Development Authority Director Liz Swaine told BIZ. Magazine last month that the federal historic tax credit was important.

“It would substantially inhibit opportunities to save and rehab some of our most significant downtown buildings,” she said. “The reason I say that is because most of the remaining buildings (to be rehabilitated downtown) are large and troubled, and they are going to need some additional help that the federal HTC credit can provide.”

Proponents argue that although it is a tax incentive that costs the federal government money, data shows those costs are offset by putting buildings back on tax rolls.

LFrom 2002-2016, 782 projects in Louisiana were made possible by $430 million in federal historic tax credits.