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Historic Tax Credits and Preservation Funding in Question as Deficit Panel Begins Work
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy
Website: http://www.preservationnation.org

Lawmakers and committees of jurisdiction scrambled this week to assemble their individual and collective recommendations to the 12 members of the newly-created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is charged with coming up with a plan to reduce federal spending by $1.2 trillion.  

At issue is whether the Select Committee will focus solely on spending reductions or also tackle revenues by clamping down on ‘tax expenditures’ to make headway on the deficit.  Historic preservation spending and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits could be seriously affected by the Joint Committee’s actions or inaction, largely because failure to pass a deficit reduction plan will trigger automatic, across-the-board spending cuts.  

Also, in recent weeks, a proposal to cut the federal historic preservation tax credit in half has been proposed by the Third Way, a non-profit centrist think tank in Washington, D.C. As the Joint Committee begins its major deliberations to develop a deficit reduction plan by November 23rd, FY’12 appropriations are on hold until November 18th under a temporary continuing resolution (CR).  Preservation funding under the CR is set at $48.578 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).  

Appropriators are now deliberating about whether to try a pass a year-end, catch-all omnibus spending bill to close out FY’12 appropriations, or perhaps move a number of separate ‘mini-buses’ – a strategy that may deter across-the-board spending cuts in any number of federal programs.  The HPF has already suffered a 1.5% across-the-board cut instituted in the temporary CR.  Any further reductions, no matter how small, could be injurious to FY’13 spending requests for historic preservation by establishing a much lower baseline spending for appropriators to work with in future appropriations bills.

Reprinted with permission from the National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy

Posted: October 17, 2011
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