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Second Supplemental Appropriations Bill May Include Disaster Relief for Flood-Ravaged Historic Properties
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Department of Public Policy, midwest floods, disaster assistance, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) is moving forward on a second economic stimulus package that may include both tax incentives and grants for rehabilitating flood-ravaged historic properties damaged in the recent Midwest floods. The Appropriations Committee has scheduled a mark up for July 22nd. The National Trust and its preservation partners are advocating for a proposal to include an increase in the historic rehab credit from 20 percent to 26 percent and from 20 percent to 40 percent for “special projects” in affected states. However, the proposal has met with some resistance in the House, with staffers indicating that such an increase in the credit would be only for flood-damaged buildings -- thus leaving the 40 percent increase for smaller, Main Street ‘special projects’ somewhat doubtful. In addition, $35 million was requested by the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices (NCSHPO) this week for disaster assistance grants to Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota, along with $3 million for associated administrative costs that would cover additional Section 106 review.

However, further progress on the second stimulus package will hinge on an offer made by House Appropriations Committee ranking member Jerry Lewis (R-CA) to Committee chairman David Obey (D-WI) to not bring up any amendments dealing with high energy costs or offshore drilling at all committee meetings, so long as Democrats promise to schedule a markup of the Interior bill before the August recess. Republicans have been pushing to have the Interior bill marked up in advance because they want to offer an OCS-drilling amendment as a quid-pro-quo for moving forward on the second stimulus package. Chairman Obey has thus far not budged on his pledge to stop the mark up of all spending bills in the House in retaliation for GOP attempts to fast-forward consideration of the Interior Bill and an off-shore drilling amendment back in June.

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


Keywords: The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Department of Public Policy, midwest floods, disaster assistance, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices

Posted: July 21, 2008
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