The Trump Administration’s proposed tax reform bill would kill off tax credits aimed at restoration of historic properties.
Historic tax credits provide a 20% discount to developers who redevelop properties on the historic register and a 10% discount to developers who revitalize old properties not listed on the register. Real estate professionals note that these tax credits offer incentives for preservation and revitalization of neighborhoods and spur economic development.
The tax incentives apply to total project costs, both hard and soft, including fees for designers and structural engineers. Renovation of historic properties is often more expensive than demolishing them and building new. So, the elimination of historic tax credits could result in fewer historic structures being preserved.
In addition, many contend that preserving an existing building is a more sustainable strategy that demolition and rebuilding. Thus, the loss of the tax credit is also at odds with greening the built environment, advocates point out.