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President’s FY’09 Federal Budget Cuts Historic Preservation Funding
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - National Park Service, State Historic Preservation Office, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Save America's Treasures, FY08 Budget, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Heritage Areas
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

President Bush delivered a three-trillion dollar federal budget to Congress outlining the nation’s budget for fiscal year 2009 that provided FY’06 enacted funding levels for both State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs), while cutting the Save America’s Treasure’s (SAT) by $10 million from FY’08. Under the proposed budget for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), the only positive was a $2 million request for a national inventory of historic properties, which was still well below the $4 million requested in the administration’s FY’08 budget. Below is a comparison of the FY’09 budget request with previously-enacted and FY’08 proposed HPF funding levels:

Historic Preservation Fund Funding Level Comparison
FY 2006 through FY 2009 ($ in millions)

HPF
Program
FY06
Enacted
FY07 CR
Final Level
FY08 Budget
Proposed
FY08
Enacted
Levels**
 FY09
Proposed Budget
           
States

$35.717

 $36.007

$35.717

$39.376

$35.717 

Tribes

$3.941

 $3.981

$3.941 

$6.399 

$3.941 

SAT

$29.558

 $7.69

$10.0

$24.61

$15.0

HBCUs

$2.956

 $2.985

-- 

-- 

-- 

Preserve

$5.0

$5.0

$10.0

$7.383*

$10

America
National
Inventory

--

--

$4.0

--

$2.0

TOTAL

$72.172

$55.663

$63.658        

$70.385

$66.658

*Funded in National Recreation budget within Interior (not included within HPF total)
** Includes .056% across-the-board cut in all discretionary accounts

The President’s proposed budget for historic preservation funding stands in marked contrast to what is needed to sustain and carry out the national historic preservation program in FY’09. Below is a breakout of historic preservation’s request for FY’09.

  • State Historic Preservation Offices: $50 million
  • Tribal Historic Preservation Offices: $20 million
  • Save America’s Treasures: $30 million
  • Preserve America: $10 million
  • National Inventory of Historic Properties: $5 million

The President’s FY’09 budget proposal also affected historic preservation and cultural resources in other programs scattered throughout the federal budget, including:

National Park Service (NPS) Cultural Programs (+ $1 million). The overall budget for the NPS’ cultural programs in the FY’09 budget is $23 million, which is an increase of $1 million over FY’08.

Construction and Cyclical Maintenance in the National Parks (-$46.1 million). The President’s budget includes an increase of $17.8 million for regular cyclic maintenance and $5.0 million for cyclic maintenance of historic structures, which are included in the NPS construction budget. However, the overall budget for NPS construction and major maintenance was proposed at $172.5 million, which was down $46.1 million from FY’08 enacted levels.

Centennial Challenge (-$25 million). The President’s Centennial Challenge program proposes a mandatory $100 million of funding annually through 2016 in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. This funding will be matched individuals, foundations, businesses, and the private sector. While the Administration’s FY’08 budget provided $25 million for the program, the FY’09 budget did not include the same amount this cycle because it is waiting on Congress to pass an authorization for the program.

National Heritage Areas (-$8.2 million). National Heritage Areas funding was reduced to $7.1 million as part of a major reduction of $21.9 million in the National Park Services’ Recreation and Preservation account.

Civil War Battlefield Matching Grants (+ $1.047 million). NPS matching grants for the preservation of Civil War battlefield sites increased to $4 million under the FY’09 budget.

BLM Resource Protection (level funding). The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) budget for protecting cultural resources on public lands was provided level funding of $89 million.

GSA/DHS Headquarters. The budget includes requests of $346 million for the General Services Administration and $120 million for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), respectively, to building a sprawling national security headquarters for DHS on the western campus of St. Elizabeths Mental Asylum in Washington, D.C. The National Trust has been opposed to these plans to unnecessarily demolish historic structures on the western campus and listed St. Elizabeths on its 2002 Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites List.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust


Keywords: National Park Service, State Historic Preservation Office, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Save America's Treasures, FY08 Budget, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Heritage Areas

Posted: February 9, 2008
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Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
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