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Support Tax Credits in Congress NOW

October 2, 2009

This just in from the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

If National Parks are “America’s Best Idea,” then surely one could make the case that the Federal Rehab Tax Credit has been proven to be one of America’s best historic preservation ideas.

Since it was enacted in 1976, the tax credit has generated over $50 billion in renovation and revitalization dollars. With a five-to-one ratio of private investment to federal tax credits, the program has developed more than 35,600 projects nationwide. In 2008 alone the credit produced $5.64 billion in private investment and created over 67,000 new jobs about 55 new jobs per project.

Just one of those 35,000+ projects is the successful rehab of Knoxville’s historic Tennessee Theater, where a top to bottom makeover of the 1,631-seat theater turned a downtown eyesore into a state-of-the-art performing arts facility. Reopened in 2005, the theater served as an anchor for the revitalization of downtown, and brings 150,000 residents and visitors to the city center for its concerts, plays, operas, and special events annually.

On October 1, 2009, Representatives Allyson Schwartz and Pat Tiberi and Senators Blanche Lincoln and Olympia Snowe introduced a measure that would make a great idea even better!

The Community Restoration and Rehabilitation Act is a package of amendments that would further the mission of the rehab credit by encouraging substantial energy savings in historic buildings while spurring greater investment in commercial projects particularly with smaller businesses located in older neighborhoods where there is a critical need for revitalization.

Although the rehab credit is currently the nation’s largest federal incentive for promoting sustainable development through private investment, a greater potential for revitalizing communities could be realized with the proposed amendments.

Learn more about the existing federal rehabilitation tax credit and the proposed amendments and stay tuned to learn how you can get involved in supporting these important changes to the tax credit program.

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