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Look below for a list of current and past alerts from CPF about urgent preservation issues. Click here to request assistance or send an Advocacy Alert to CPF’s 15,000 members and supporters.
Current Advocacy Alerts
Nationwide | Support the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act
In the 2018 elections, House Democrats won a sufficient number of seats to flip the balance of power in the House and provide some cushion beyond the 218 seats needed for the majority. However, Republicans did fare better in the Senate. There are multiple races still undecided, but Republicans could increase their majority over the 51 Senators presently seated in the 115th Congress.
With a divided government coming in January, Republicans see an opportunity to pass key legislation during the year-end “Lame Duck” session while they still hold majorities in each chamber. Since standard Senate procedures requiring 60 votes will apply, passage of these priorities will require bipartisan support of Senate Democrats and collaboration with the House Republicans.
Last year, industry and preservation advocates worked with many Members of Congress to retain the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) in a reformed tax code. While they were successful in keeping the HTC as a permanent tax credit, the HTC is now taken over 5 years, resulting in a loss of value.
Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sen. Cassidy (R-LA), and Sen. Cardin (D-MD), introduced legislation last June to enhance the credit with the “Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act” (HTCEA), H.R. 6081 and S. 3058. This bill would eliminate the basis adjustment requirement for HTC transactions. Presently a property’s basis (value for tax purposes) must be reduced by the amount of HTCs claimed and is therefore entitled to fewer tax benefits. This change would enhance the value of all HTC transactions, attract more capital from tax credit investors, simplify how the credit functions, and improve how the credit pairs with other economic development programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and new Opportunity Zone incentive.
Bill sponsors anticipate an opportunity to attach the HTCEA language to a larger legislative package that could possibly move through Congress during the year-end Lame Duck session. Support for the legislation needs to come from both sides of the aisle to improve its chances of enactment.
Contact your Members of Congress and encourage them to Co-sponsor the HTCEA and ask legislators to include the bill in year-end legislation. To see if your member has co-sponsored, go to H.R. 6081 and S. 3058.
To locate the name and phone number of your House Representative go to: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
To locate the names and phone number of your Senators go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state&Sort=ASC
Or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and asked to be connected to your Senators’ or House Member’s DC office.
Call (during office hours) the offices of your Members of Congress. Ask to speak to tax staff, your staff contacts in offices or ask for email addresses of tax staff.
- The Historic Tax Credit (HTC) provides owners of historic buildings with an incentive to invest in the difficult task of rehabilitating their properties according to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
- While the 20 percent historic tax credit was maintained in the final tax reform bill, it was modified, reducing the amount of reinvestment flowing into our historic communities and neighborhoods.
- Presently, the tax code requires that building owners subtract the amount of HTCs from a building’s basis (the amount a property is worth for tax purposes). Eliminating this requirement will increase the basis of rehabilitated historic buildings for building owners, provide additional tax benefits, and attract more capital from tax credit investors. Rep. LaHood (R-IL), Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR), Sen. Cassidy (R-LA), and Sen. Cardin (D-MD) have introduced the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act (R. 6081 and S. 3058) to eliminate the basis adjustment for federal HTC transactions.
- This legislative change would preserve the vast majority of savings achieved by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act and bring the HTC in line with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which does not require a basis adjustment.
- Enacting this legislation will strengthen the credit and improve the incentive for building owners who are revitalizing historic properties in communities nationwide and improve how the credit pairs with other economic development programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and new Opportunity Zone incentive.
- Please co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act, sponsored by Cassidy/Cardin in the Senate ( 3058) and LaHood/Blumenauer in the House (H.R. 6081) and support including this bill in year-end legislation.
Huntington Beach | Help save Historic Wintersburg
Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach has announced a new collaboration with Orange Coast Gakuen, the non-profit Japanese Language School that has operated in Huntington Beach for over 42 years. The translation for the Japanese word “gakuen” is “study garden”, which is an apt description of an educational program partner for a historic goldfish and flower farm property. Historic Wintersburg–designated a National Treasure in 2015–will be working with Orange Coast Gakuen to explore the vision of a restored historical site with green open park space and an educational and cultural center. Orange Coast Gakuen already provides educational programming in Japanese language, as well as cultural programming, such as ikebana (flower arranging), Japanese calligraphy, and tea ceremony. The role of a Japanese Language School with Historic Wintersburg is directly connected to its history. The Wintersburg Japanese Mission helped start and supported the four original Japanese Language Schools in Orange County in the early 1900s, at Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach. Elders and congregants of the Wintersburg Japanese Mission were among the first administrators and teachers, and also among the first arrested and imprisoned after the attack by Japan in 1941. During World War II, the Japanese Language Schools were shuttered and the majority of the buildings no longer exist. Orange Coast Gakuen has been without a permanent home for over 42 years.
It is hoped this vision will be realized with the purchase of the Historic Wintersburg property from Republic Services, Inc., the trash company that currently owns the property. The proposal to sell the property and demolish the historic structures for self storage development is on hold, per Republic Services. Historic Wintersburg remains endangered until the property is purchased for preservation. Negotiations to purchase the property from Republic Services, Inc., are led by Historic Wintersburg’s national partners, the Trust for Public Land and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with assistance brokering meetings by the Ocean View School District (Historic Wintersburg is adjacent to the Oak View preschool and elementary school in the Ocean View School District). The passage in June 2018 of Prop. 68 provides significant funding for the purchase of the property as a future heritage park site.
Please send letters calling for the sale of the property to the Trust for Public Land and for the preservation of National Treasure Historic Wintersburg as an act of corporate responsibility for American heritage. Write Republic Services corporate management, Donald W. Slager, President and Chief Executive Officer, and board of directors, Manuel Kadre, Chairman of the Board, and Tomago Collins, Chair, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee, at:
Republic Services, Inc.
18500 N. Allied Way
Phoenix, AZ 85054
Click the links below for additional information
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Past Advocacy Alerts
Pebble Beach | Preserve the Historic Connell House
The owner of the Richard Neutra Connell House in Pebble Beach, listed on the California Register of Historic Resources and found eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, has applied to demolish the house.
Richard Joseph Neutra, renowned mid-century modernist architect, was an Austrian-American architect who lived and built for the majority of his career in Southern California. A photograph of the 1958 “Connell House” is the example used for the “International Style” of architecture in the Pebble Beach Historic Context Statement (page 127).
The Connell House is a pure example of the modernist design aesthetic. The current Connell House owner’s intention is to demolish the house to make way for a new home in its place. As Richard Neutra’s architect son Dion Neutra states, “It would be a great tragedy to lose the only authentic Richard Neutra design in all of Monterey County. The Connell House is irreplaceable.”
Please email letters supporting the preservation of the Richard Neutra Connell House by October 12th to:
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Re: Signal Hill LLC (Mehdipour) PLN100338; SCH#2015021054
You can also mail letters to:
Cheryl Ku, Senior Planner
Monterey County, Resource Management Agency
1441 Schilling Place, 2nd Floor
Salinas, CA 93901
And please request to be notified of all public hearings on this property for further advocacy.
Click the links below for additional information
Nationwide | Support the Historic Preservation Fund
Urge Your Senators to Support the Cassidy/Gillibrand Amendment to Increase HPF Funding by $8 Million During Consideration of the Interior Appropriations Bill
The Senate is currently debating H.R 6147, a minibus appropriations bill that includes the FY19 Senate Interior Appropriations bill.
Urge your Senators to support an amendment being offered by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) to H.R 6147, that would increase the Historic Preservation Fund by $8 million, restoring the HPF to fiscal year 2018 enacted levels. If you live in New York or Louisiana be sure to thank Senators Cassidy and Gillibrand for their continued leadership on historic preservation issues.
Contact your Senators and request that they support the Cassidy/Gillibrand amendment to preserve and protect some of nation’s most historic resources by restoring funding for the Historic Preservation Fund to last year’s levels.
If you already have a personal contact in your Senator’s office reach out to that person directly. If you don’t have a personal contact, call your Senator’s DC office and ask to speak with the Interior Appropriations staffer. You can also contact the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. Explain that this amendment offered by Senators Cassidy and Gillibrand would restore funding to the Historic Preservation Fund, which is funded through oil and gas lease revenue, not tax payer dollars. The HPF funds the work of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and critically important programs that help support preservation projects across the country and in their state.
The Senate is currently debating H.R 6147. Reach out today!
Previous Advocacy Alert
Urge Your Representative to Support Amendments to Restore and Provide Modest Increases for the HPF During Consideration of the Interior Appropriations Bill
The House of Representatives is expected to begin debate this evening on H.R 6147, the Department of Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which funds the Historic Preservation Fund.
Urge your Representative to support the following three amendments up for consideration on the House floor that will provide modest increases for programs funded through the HPF:
- A bipartisan amendment offered by Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR), Turner (R-OH), Heck (D-WA), Courtney (D-CT), Adam Smith (D-WA), Katko (D-NY), and Keating (D-MA) that will increase HPF funding by $5 million, restoring appropriations for the HPF to the FY18 enacted level.
- An amendment offered by Representatives Clyburn (D-SC), Sewell (D-AL) and Adams (D-NC) that will increase funds for historic preservation grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities by $2 million.
- An amendment offered by Representative Sewell (D-AL) that will increase funding for competitive grants to preserve the sites and stories of the Civil Rights Movement by $2.5 million.
Contact your Representative and request that they support these 3 amendments to preserve and protect some of nation’s most historic resources by providing modest increases for the Historic Preservation Fund.
If you already have a personal contact in your Representative’s office reach out to that person directly. If you don’t have a personal contact, call your Representative’s DC office and ask to speak with the Interior Appropriations staffer. You can also contact the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. Explain that these three amendments would restore funding and provide modest increases to the Historic Preservation Fund, which is funded through oil and gas lease revenue, not tax payer dollars. The HPF funds the work of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and critically important programs that help support preservation projects across the country and in their district/state.
Reach out today! The House is expected to consider H.R 6147 this evening.
This Advocacy Alert is reposted from Preservation Action.
Posted 7/17/18. Updated 7/27/18.
Nationwide | Support a National Historic Trail designation for Route 66
This Advocacy Alert is reposted from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
As our nation’s first all-paved U.S. Highway System connecting the Midwest to California, Route 66 played a significant role in the Dust Bowl, Great Depression, and World War II. But over time, travelers began bypassing Route 66 for the Interstate—causing the independent businesses, rich roadside architecture, and kitschy landmarks and attractions the roadway was known for to slowly diminish. By the 1960s, many communities and businesses along the route fell into deep decay … or disappeared entirely.
Today, this same threat persists as motorists opt for faster and more direct routes. That’s why we need your help in seeking a Historic Trail designation for Route 66. This permanent designation will bring greater public interest and investment to the communities along the iconic highway and encourage their economic revitalization. And most importantly, it will help preserve Route 66 as a vital, iconic, and evolving piece of Americana for generations to come.
San Francisco | Support the Mothers Building
The Mothers Building at the San Francisco Zoo contains four New Deal Era Murals by two women artists, Helen K. Forbes and Dorothy W. Pucinelli, the largest egg tempera murals in the West. The building, closed to the public for over 15 years, is an important example of San Francisco’s 1930s artwork. Supervisor Norman Yee’s district includes this historically important structure, and his support is critical in the efforts of the Friends of the Mothers Building at the San Francisco Zoo to re-open the building in the near future.
For additional updates, join the Friends of the Mothers Building at the San Francisco Zoo group on Facebook, or go to www.richardrothman.net.
Writing a letter of support to Supervisor Norman Yee (Norman.Yee@sfgov.org) requesting help securing funding and increased attention for the project.
Chico | Save Historic Water Towers
Update 8/28/18 Two of the town’s 4 historic water towers were saved, after more than a year of advocacy from the Chico Heritage Association. More than a dozen CPF members responded to the advocacy alert below, providing valuable assistance and support for the preservation efforts. In the words of Michael Magliari, “It was great to hear from people in other communities who had worked to save their own local water towers and who had good advice and information to share with us!”
Original Advocacy Alert
Do you know of any efforts to preserve historic water towers or other historically significant infrastructure owned by water service public utilities? The Chico Heritage Association is currently working to preserve the town’s four historic water towers and needs help preparing options to preserve these iconic structures in their ongoing discussions with the current owners (Cal Water) and the Chico City Council.
To get involved, email Michael Magliari at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the group “Save the Chico Water Towers” on Facebook.
LA | Support the Landmark Nomination of the Woman's Building
In January, the City of L.A.’s Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) agreed to take Los Angeles Conservancy’s landmark nomination for The Woman’s Building under consideration. This Thursday, March 15, they will decide whether to recommend designation to the City Council.
Attend the meeting on March 15th, or email your comments in support of landmark designation to:
Senior Planning Deputy
Councilmember Gil Cedillo
Office of Historic Resources
Please copy email@example.com so that the Los Angeles Conservancy can track progress.
LA | Save Roosevelt High School
The Los Angeles Unified School District has proposed a plan to modernize Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, which includes demolishing almost all of the school’s historic buildings.The Los Angeles Conservancy and the Committee to Defend Roosevelt High School/Defendamos la escuela Roosevelt High School are supporting community members who want to preserve the most important historic elements of the school.
Fresno | Heartbomb Hotel Fresno
Show your love for the Hotel Fresno by dropping by on Sunday, February 18th at 12:30 to create a “heart bomb.” Heart bombs are love letters to historic places that appear at historic sites nationwide, on local landmarks, and around places both safe and threatened.
Martinez | Vote for Martinez to win $500,000
The City of Martinez is a finalist in a contest to win $500,000 to revitalize its downtown!
A vote for Martinez is a vote for the small business owners who have revamped Main Street, bringing new energy while ensuring historic preservation. You don’t have to live in Martinez to vote, but you can cast a new vote everyday, with as many email addresses as you have.
Please go and vote for Martinez as this is a once in a lifetime shot! https://www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/main-street/season-three
Napa | Save the Napa Valley Model Railroad Historical Society
The Napa Valley Model Railroad Historical Society is an important educational, cultural, recreational, and historical resource for the community. It interprets the agricultural and industrial heritage of the Napa Valley and is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year in a multi-generational setting. Its eviction would be a devastating loss of a piece of Napa’s heritage that engages families and promotes community identity. Help save this site by signing the petition!
Nationwide | Save the Historic Tax Credit
Urge Your U.S House Member to Sign Historic Tax Credit Dear Colleague Letter
The Historic Tax Credit is under threat of elimination in the current tax reform legislation. The House tax reform bill eliminates the program, while the Senate version of the bill retains the 20% Historic Tax Credit. The House and Senate will now reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill in conference committee.
Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) is leading a dear colleague letter to be sent to members of the Tax Reform conference committee urging them to retain the Historic Tax Credit in tax reform legislation.
Call or email your U.S House Member and urge them to add their name to the Historic Tax Credit dear colleague letter by contacting Emily Mace in Rep. Westerman’s office at (202) 226-0587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.