Federal Legislative Issues

Call to Action: Help Us Save the Federal Historic Tax Credit!

October 2017

The Federal Historic Tax Credit (FHTC) is at risk! This is a vital incentive to encourage the reuse and rehabilitation of historic buildings throughout the nation. It has generated over $2.3 billion in private development investment and helped create more than 22,000 jobs.

Since 2001, the Internal Revenue Service has awarded $509 million in federal historic tax credits to projects in Illinois, resulting in the completion of 253 projects statewide and over $3 billion in total development expenditures.

However, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have said Congress will prioritize tax reform in 2017 and have a goal of passing a tax reform bill by year end. The elimination of the FHTC could be included in such tax reform. Please help Landmarks Illinois and preservation organizations throughout the U.S. in advocating for the continuation of the FHTC, and ask members of Congress to show their support for the FHTC during tax reform discussions.

Here’s what you can do today:

  • Contact Illinois members of the House Ways and Means Committee, and ask they explicitly voice their support for the FHTC, which is vitally important to Illinois, during tax reform discussions. Current Illinois Ways and Means Committee members are: Rep. Peter Roskam and Rep. Danny Davis.
  • Ask U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to sign on to S.B. 425 – A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve the historic rehabilitation tax credit. Also encourage your U.S. Representative to support this important legislation and fight for this important economic incentive, which will continue to be threatened during tax reform. A fact sheet on the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2017 can be found here.

Current federal historic tax credit legislation

  • H.R.1158 – the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2017. From Illinois, U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) are co-sponsors. If one of these elected officials is your U.S. Representative, please thank them for co-sponsoring H.R. 1158 and for defending the Federal Historic Tax Credit during tax reform.

Federal Historic Tax Credit Projects

The Woodstock Theater is just one example of a historic preservation project in Illinois that used the Federal Historic Tax Credit to restore a historically significant space.

You can view more FHTC projects in Illinois between 2004 and 2015 here.

Before Restoration

Prior to restoration, the historic character of the Woodstock Theater was hidden from view. (2011)

After Restoration

Restoration efforts at the Woodstock Theater brought back much of the building's historic character. (2014)

Historic Photo

A historic picture of the Woodstock Theater shows the building's original character and historic charm.

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