Federal historic tax credit should be modernized
Buffalo is fortunate to have a rich legacy of historic buildings and the financial tools to support their preservation and reuse. During the past 10 years, we have seen dozens of our most important buildings saved from the wrecking ball. The Lafayette, the Webb and the Darwin Martin House are just a few recent examples. Making some strategic changes to the federal historic tax credit (HTC) will help continue this trend and make Buffalo truly a world-class historic destination.
As the Nov. 26 News editorial put it, “Improving rehab tax credits would pay big dividends.” Our current HTC can do more.
The Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act, recently championed by Sen. Charles Schumer, would create some key improvements to the HTC, a program that has already revitalized 38,000 historic buildings, created 2.2 million jobs and attracted nearly $100 billion for the transformation of vacant and dilapidated schools, factories and more nationwide.
By changing the building age requirement to “50 years or older” instead of “built before 1936,” the CAPP Act would enable post-World War II communities to qualify for the credit. It would also increase the amount of the credit for smaller-scale projects, making small buildings such as those located on the 500 block of Main Street more attractive to developers.
Buffalo’s heritage truly is the fuel that will drive our region’s future, and modernizing the federal historic tax credit through CAPP will ensure it burns bright.