Cantwell, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Expand Historic Tax Credit

Bipartisan legislation would increase access to tax credits, spur economic growth, create jobs

Full list of Washington state projects funded by HTC is available HERE 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced legislation to expand the Historic Tax Credit, which helps promote economic growth, job creation, and historical preservation. 

“Since 1977, the Historic Tax Credit has helped preserve historic Washington buildings like the Hastings Building in Port Townsend and the Holly Madison Building in Spokane,” said Senator Cantwell. “This legislation will make the program more accessible to communities throughout our state and around the country, helping to create jobs, generate new investment, and preserve our history.” 

The Historic Tax Credit Growth & Opportunity (HTC-GO) Act increases the Historic Tax Credit to 30 percent for certified preservation projects costing less than $3.75 million, while retaining the existing 20 percent credit for all other projects. The expansion would also make the HTC more accessible to lower-cost projects by eliminating the basis-adjustment requirement, bringing the HTC into line with the Affordable Housing Tax Credit

The bill would also increase eligible renovation projects by lowering the rehabilitation investment threshold from 100 percent to 50 percent of the project’s expenses. It also improves rules to allow better access to the credit for tax-exempt entities, including community facilities, arts organizations, healthcare centers, and workforce training developments. 

“In co-sponsoring the HTC-GO Act, Senator Cantwell is supporting direct economic development across the state, especially in our historic downtowns. Increasing the credit from 20% to 30% for smaller rehabilitation projects will enable our Main Street communities, small businesses, and local property owners to reinvest in their communities while re-using their buildings in a sustainable way and preserving local history,” said Chris Moore, Executive Director of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. 

From Fiscal Year 2002-2018, 109 projects in Washington state received more than $144 million in federal investment through the Historic Tax Credit. That funding helped create over 10,500 new jobs and generate more than $751 million in income statewide. Rehabilitation projects funded by the credit include the Arctic Club in Seattle, the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad in Spokane, and the Great Western Building in Yakima. A full list of projects funded by the credit is available HERE