Save the Historic Tax Credit!

by Cindy Heitzman  on October 25, 2017 | Uncategorized | 1 comment
Featured Image: The Craneway section of the Ford Assembly Building, Richmond, California. Photos by Billy Hustace Photography.


Take Action to Save the Historic Tax Credit!

The Federal Historic Tax Credit is seriously threatened and your help is needed – NOW – to save this critical and effective program.

Watch Ronald Reagan make the case for Historic Tax Credits.


Information from the National Trust for Historic Preservation indicates that the Historic Tax Credit will not be included in the tax reform bill expected to be released on November 1, 2017.

Advocates from across the country have been effective in reaching out to their legislators on the Ways and Means committee members, but experts familiar with the issue believe that Chairman Brady will hold firm in his plan to release a bill that mirrors the instructions laid out by the “Group of Six.” At this time, the only tax credits to be retained are the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Research & Development Tax Credit.

It is also expected that Chairman Brady will attempt to get the tax reform bill to the floor for a full House vote by November 6, 2017, which will give House members only three days to amend. Moreover, the recent passage of a budget by the Senate created a path for that body to pass a tax reform bill with only a simple majority of 51 votes.

Without immediate action, it is now a very real possibility that the preservation community will lose the Historic Tax Credit.

Urgent and immediate action is needed from the preservation community.


1)  Those legislators that signed on to co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act should logically also want to retain the program. To see if your legislator co-sponsored either the House bill or Senate bill, you can look them up here:  But remember, the request to your Members of Congress is to please include the HTC in the tax reform bills.

2)  Write and call your legislators and ask that they keep the Historic Tax Credit as they reform our nation’s tax code.   Ask to speak to tax staff, your staff contacts in offices or ask for email addresses of tax staffA suggested outline of your email message or phone call:

Introduce yourself as a constituent

  1. Say “I have been hearing about tax reform and I wanted to check in to see how the HTC is fairing. I am extremely concerned that the Historic Tax Credit is was not specifically mentioned in the tax reform framework.”
  2. Explain why you value Historic Tax Credits, and that the redevelopment of historic buildings will not get done without the HTC.
  3. Let them know some previous and future HTC projects in your state/district (Link to State HTC Map and Project List below)
  4. Touch on why these historic buildings are so challenging but important to our communities.
  5. Ask…. “As tax reform moves forward, will /Sen. XXX vocalize support and work to protect the historic tax credit with Congressional Leadership and the tax writing committees?”
  6. Share with the office the video of President Reagan

3)  Advocacy Resources

  1. Find contact information for your House Representative
  2. Find contact information for your Senators
  3. Talking points
  4. State and congressional district maps with economic impact data
  5. Interactive mapping tool developed by Novogradac and Company
  6. Advocacy Toolkit from the National Trust
  7. Need to get caught up? Hear a refresher on the HTC from WDC lobbyists who spoke on the last webinar.

4)  Join a special November 2 webinar at 2:00 p.m. eastern with WDC-based lobbyists for reactions to the expected tax reform bill from Chairman Brady.

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.