110th Congress Adjourns But $850 Billion Stimulus Bill in the Works for Early January
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
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The 110th Congress will officially sine die adjourn on January 3rd after a stuttering lame duck session failed to pass either an auto industry bailout or even a limited stimulus package to address the downward spiral of the U.S. economy this month. However, the Democratic leadership took the lead in announcing that a much bigger stimulus package — in the upper range of $850 billion — was in the process of being assembled and readied for consideration in early January when the 111th Congress convenes on January 6th. In the interim, the National Trust and its preservation partners developed a stimulus proposal of its own for lawmakers’ consideration to benefit a wide range of historic and cultural resource needs at the Federal and state level, either directly through grants or expansion of existing tax credits.
At the heart of the preservation stimulus package are the following proposed programs and policies.
- Renewed Investment in America's Historic and Older Public Buildings and Infrastructure
- Main Street Reinvestment Grants for Strengthening Communities
- Historic Tax Credit Improvements for Jobs, Housing and Investment
- Historic Preservation Fund Emergency Jobs Program
- Federal Incentive Funding for State Rehab Tax Credit Programs
- Disaster Assistance for Iowa and Texas
- Public Land Investments for Jobs, Energy Delivery and Revitalization
Under the proposed Emergency Jobs program, for example, the preservation stimulus proposal would provide $100 million for state grants to historic sites to promote economic viability and energy efficiency retrofits; $100 million for state grants for home energy assistance “for owner-occupied homes that contribute to National Register historic districts and emphasize energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits”; an additional $30 million for Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grants for funding “priority for projects of national significance that specify a measureable jobs creation/maintenance component in a broad variety of eligible activities”; and $100 million for State Historic Preservation Offices to provide Section 106 review for these expanded programs providing grant money to historic sites.
To learn about the full text of the preservation stimulus package, please visit http://www.preservationnation.org/take-action/advocacycenter/platform/economic-stimulus.html.
Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust
Keywords: State Historic Preservation Offices, Section 106 review, National Trust for Historic Preservation, public policy, Main Street Reinvestment Grants, Historic Tax Credit, Historic Preservation Fund
Posted: January 6, 2009
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