WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation issued the following news release:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) released a discussion draft today of his vision for comprehensive tax reform, and it eliminates the federal historic tax credit. The following are statements from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Tax Credit Coalition and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
Stephanie K. Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
The National Trust is deeply concerned by the repeal of the federal historic tax credit in Chairman Camp's discussion draft. Though we appreciate the difficult task of reforming our nation's tax code, it should not come at the cost of a program that creates local jobs and preserves our nation's historic properties, while enriching our communities and building a lasting relationship with our past. The federal historic tax credit has done more for the revitalization of America's historic downtowns and districts than any other preservation tool.
"An effective reform of our nation's tax code must retain the federal historic tax credit. This is a program that has been shown to return more to the Treasury than it costs and stimulates adaptive re-use of commercial properties that support businesses across the country. Its elimination would be short-sighted and unfounded."
Patrick Robertson, executive director of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition:
"Since the federal historic tax credit was made part of the tax code more than 30 years ago, the credit has been a widely used redevelopment tool for inner cities, towns and rural communities across the country. The credit has a proven track record of stimulating economic growth and creating jobs through public-private leveraging opportunities. Many of the objectives of tax reform are accomplished through this long standing program. It creates enormous economic activity by leveraging billions of dollars in private capital, makes the tax code fairer, and promotes a longstanding social priority."
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, 3rd District of Oregon:
"As a member of the Ways & Means Committee, I know that we have to reform our tax system to make it work better for Americans. This means getting rid of credits and incentives that don't work and keeping those that do. The historic tax credit creates jobs, revitalizes cities, and helps link us to our past as we move into the future. Like the buildings it protects, the historic tax credit should be preserved for the benefit of all of us."
BACKGROUND ON THE FEDERAL HISTORIC TAX CREDIT
The federal historic tax credit was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to spur the private sector's investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Since its inception, this powerful tool has generated $109 billion in private investment, created 2.4 million jobs, and adapted nearly 39,000 historic buildings for productive use. The federal historic tax credit continues to fulfill the federal public policy goal set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 of preserving the nation's architectural heritage by rehabilitating historic structures that tell America's story.
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