by Robert M. Simpson
President & CEO
This week, joined by our partners at the Preservation League of New York State, Hotel Syracuse developer Ed Riley, and Congressman Daniel Maffei, we highlighted one of our region’s most effective economic development incentives – the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. This tax credit is the largest federal incentive for redeveloping historic buildings, and continues to have significant impact on projects throughout our region.
From the Hotel Syracuse and the Pike Block in Syracuse, to the Stanley Theater in Utica, and the Franklin Building in Watertown, more than $163.5 million in rehabilitation investments in this region have been leveraged by the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit over the past decade. These historic buildings are catalytic to economic growth in our urban cores. More so, these iconic projects impact our community, our psychology and our culture.
Since its inception, these tax credits have rehabilitated nearly 39,000 buildings, created 2.4 million jobs and leveraged $109 billion in private investment, nationwide. On average, the credit leverages $5 dollars of private investment for every $1 dollar in federal funding, creating an effective return on investment and highly impactful public-private partnerships.
And yet, efforts in Washington to cut federal spending have put the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit at risk of elimination. Losing this economic development and job creation incentive would threaten more than $1.2 billion in historic property redevelopment projects pending statewide.
There is, however, an effort to not only protect but enhance this important redevelopment tool. United States Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are co-sponsors of the “Creating American Prosperity through Preservation” (CAPP) Act, pending in Congress. This proposal would expand the tax credit from 20 percent to 30 percent for renovations costing less than $5 million. We believe that the New York Congressional delegation has a unique opportunity to lead on this issue, and advance this legislation.
The continued support of this tax credit is critical to the ongoing transformation of our region’s main streets and urban centers. We strongly encourage you to voice your concern about the possible elimination of this credit and the impact that would have on our region’s future. As always, should you have questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.