Developers, Preservationists Lobby to Save Tax Credit for Historic Renovations

Commercial real estate appears to fare very well in the House and Senate tax bills being advanced in Congress, which include several notable provisions favored by the industry including keeping 1031 tax-free exchanges. It now appears increasingly likely that some form of comprehensive tax reform legislation will be passed, perhaps as early as next week.

One long-time tax provision that may not be continued, at least in its current form, is the federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC). A Reagan Administration-era program popular with both historic preservationists and urban developers, the program is credited by supporters with generating more than $131 billion in private investment, preserving over 42,000 buildings and creating nearly 2.5 million construction and permanent jobs across the country.

The U.S. House of Representatives, in approving its version of the sweeping Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last week, eliminated the 20% tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings certified by the National Park Service as historic structures.

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