Federal Legislative Issues

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit: What is it?

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and reuse of historic buildings. Since 1976, the credit has leveraged over $96.87 billion in private investment to preserve 44,341 historic properties. The National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service administer the program in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices. (Source: NPS)

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Legislation to Improve and Enhance the Federal Historic Tax Credit

In May 2019, the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HR 2825) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Darin LaHood from Illinois’ 18th district was an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation, and Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-5) has also signed on as a co-sponsor.

The legislation called for improving the Historic Tax Credit by making it more accessible, affordable and efficient for projects – especially smaller ones. For projects under $2.5 million in qualified rehabilitation expenditures, the credit would be increased from 20% to 30%. A summary of the legislation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation is viewable here.

You can check the current status of the bill and co-sponsors here. Take action and request your legislator to co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HR2825)!

The corresponding Senate version of the Historic Tax Credit Growth & Opportunity Act legislation in the Senate is S. 2615. Sen. Tammy Duckworth has signed on as a cosponsor.

(Photo: Frank Butterfield, Director of Landmarks Illinois’ Springfield Office, and Russ Carnahan of Preservation Action, present Congressman Darin LaHood with a Champions of Historic Preservation Award in 2019.)

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 2014 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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