California Historic Tax Credit is Funded for 2022!

by Cindy Heitzman  on July 19, 2021 | Advocacy, Blog | No comments

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The California Historic Tax Credit (SB 451), signed by Governor Newsom in 2019, was dealt a setback when it was not included in the Governor’s 2021/22 budget.  Under the provisions of the bill, the California Historic Tax Credit (CA HTC) must be funded annually as part of the budget review and adoption process. The Governor’s budget, presented in January 2021, cut spending in anticipation of a protracted Covid-precipitated recession.  However, the State’s financial position and economic outlook improved and we went back to work lobbying to include full funding of the CA HTC for 2022.

Working with CPF lobbyist Tony Gonzalez and Misa Lennox, consultant to Senate Pro tem Toni Atkins, we requested full funding for the CA HTC through a budget revision during the May “revise.”  This is the period where amendments to the Governor’s budget can be made based on revised financial projections for state revenues and expenditures.

Developers who wanted to use the CA HTC were contacted and we prepared a multi-page document with overviews of individual projects and prepared videos with narratives from the developers.  CPF’s Field Services Director Jon Haeber filmed and edited the videos, which were presented it to Senator Atkins and Senate Budget staff.  Bruce Coons, Executive Director, Save Our Heritage Organisation (San Diego), worked with Senator Atkins staff in her home district to seek support.  Here is a link to the videos, which are also embedded below:  https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSw0haIkglvSIxFrwgia7-11neIWfleH-

And as a result of our work, and the commitment of Senator Atkins, the CA HTC funding was included in the revised budget, signed by the Governor last month. The full $50 million allocation will be available for projects effective January 1, 2022.  The rules for the implementation of the CA HTC are being drafted by the California Office of Historic Preservation and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee.  Once the rules are adopted we will present a program on how to apply for the CA HTC.   This is a significant step for supporting adaptive reuse of historic commercial properties, including affordable housing, and providing financial assistance for qualifying homeowners for essential maintenance of owner-occupied historic homes.

About the Author

Cindy Heitzman is the Executive Director of the California Preservation. She has held this position since 2004 and was previously the Building Official and Fire Marshal for the City of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. She was the first female president of the Redwood Empire Chapter of Code Officials (2000) and served as the Chair of the California Building Officials’ Historic Codes Committee. She has coordinate courses on the use and application of the California Historical Building Code and taught the use of California Historical Building Code to building department staff. She served as a commissioner on the California Building Officials Training Institute from 2002 – 2005.