Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced legislation to expand the Historic Tax Credit to foster economic growth and urban renewal and create jobs.
“I have long supported the Historic Tax Credit, a proven tool for revitalizing communities and catalyzing economic development in Maine and across the nation,” said Senator Collins. “In 2017, I successfully advocated for the retention of this important credit in the new tax law. Our bipartisan legislation will make the historic tax credit even easier to use, leveraging greater investments in restoration projects and creating good-paying jobs for hardworking Americans.”
The Historic Tax Credit Growth & Opportunity (HTC-GO) Act would help restore and preserve historic buildings by creating a new 30 percent credit for projects that cost less than $3.75 million while maintaining the existing 20 percent credit. Credits are capped at $750,000.
The bill lowers the threshold the cost of a project must meet to be eligible by eliminating the basis-adjustment requirement, which will bring the HTC in line with other credits such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. This language carried over from a bill introduced last year.
It further expands eligible renovation projects by decreasing the rehabilitation investment threshold from 100 percent to 50 percent of the project’s expenses. Project expenses would only have to exceed half of the project’s cost to qualify for the credit. It also amends rules for tax-exempt entities – such as health care centers, arts organization, community services and workforce training providers – to allow better access to the credit.
Elimination of the basis adjustment will increase the value of the credit and simplify transaction structures. Under current tax law, a building owner must subtract the amount of credits received from a building’s basis (the amount a property is worth for tax purposes). Eliminating this requirement will bring more value to all HTC projects by increasing the basis of rehabilitated historic buildings for building owners, provide additional depreciation and other tax benefits, and attract more capital from tax credit investors.