In Defense of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit

Below is a copy of the letter PAWV is sending to Senator Manchin.  We will tweak it slightly before sending it to Senator Rockefeller, as he is a member of the Senate Finance Committee.  Please feel free to send this letter to the Senators and ask them to fight to preserve the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit during tax reform.

Dear Senator Manchin,

This is Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV).  On behalf of the Board of Directors and PAWV members, I am writing to ask you to submit the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to the Senate Finance Committee during tax reform discussions.  Please ask the Committee to renew the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit because it is an economic engine supporting private investment, and it creates good jobs.

The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit makes a positive impact.  It levels the playing field in terms of the cost to rehabilitate existing buildings versus the cost and incentives for new construction.  Preservation projects are known to revitalize neighborhoods, support local economies, and create lasting improvements.  Also, we know that in West Virginia, and in 30 other states, the state government increases the effects of the federal investment with State Rehabilitation Tax Credits.  Please do not let this valuable tool be eliminated during tax reform.

The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a worthwhile investment for the federal government.  It has generated over $66 million dollars of private investment into historic buildings and communities.  Revitalization projects such as the adaptive re-use of First Ward School in Elkins, the renovation of the old Wheeling Public Library, the preservation of downtown Lewisburg, and the development of heritage tourism sites in Jefferson County demonstrate how historic preservation works in West Virginia’s communities.    As developers have told me on numerous occasions, without the Tax Credit, these revitalization projects would not be possible.  Additionally, the Tax Credit has created 2.4 million quality and higher paying jobs in the country to date with an estimated 75% coming from within the project’s region.  The Tax Credit has proven its usefulness and necessity, time and time again.

I urge you to submit the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to the Senate Finance Committee during tax reform discussions.  It represents a greater return than investment for the federal government; generating $25.9 billion while costing $20.5 billion. When a historic building no longer meets the needs for which it was built, the Tax Credit provides additional investment to bring new life to the building and to our communities.

If you have any questions about the content in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me.  We need incentives like the Tax Credit in West Virginia, and I hope you will argue for this Tax Credit during tax reform.

 

 

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