2022 brings exciting movement for historic preservation in Florida, and we are kicking off 2022 advocacy by focusing on two important preservation actions: advocacy for full funding of the FY 2023 Historic Preservation Grant Program and the creation of a Florida historic preservation tax credit program.
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation has collaborated to establish a state historic tax credit in Florida, a proven tax incentive for revitalizing historic places and supporting economic development. The Main Street Tourism and Historic Revitalization Act is filed as House Bill 247 and Senate Bill 1310.
House Bill 247, the Main Street Tourism and Historic Revitalization Act, was filed by Representative Michelle Salzman in October 2021. The new year starts off with a companion Senate Bill 1310 filed by Senator Ana-Maria Rodriguez. These bills would create a Florida historic tax credit, help revitalize Florida Main Street communities, support heritage tourism, create good paying jobs and bring vacant and underused historic buildings back to life.
Tax credits have proven to be effective tools for revitalizing historic places, providing affordable housing and supporting economic development. If legislation providing a state tax credit passes this Legislative Session, Florida would join 39 other states in providing this important incentive to rehabilitate historic buildings, encourage private investment and grow local economies. Further, research has shown a state historic tax credit increases the amount of federal investment in rehabilitation.
The Florida Historic Tax Credit would provide a tax credit of up to 20 percent of total eligible costs for rehabilitation of a certified historic structure and a tax credit of up to 30 percent of total eligible costs for rehabilitation of a certified historic structure that is physically located within the official district boundaries of an active, certified Florida Main Street community. It is intended to pair with applications to the Florida State Division of Historical Resources for the Federal Historic Tax Credit. The federal credit is 20 percent applied to qualified rehabilitation costs for certified historic structures. At the federal level, the credit has been proven to generate new economic activity by leveraging private dollars — $173 billion since inception — to preserve historic buildings and create jobs. Through 2020, the rehabilitation of 46,000 historic buildings has created more than 2.8 million jobs. The Historic Tax Credit represents the largest federal investment specifically supporting historic preservation.
Legislative Process and Advocacy
Currently House Bill 247 has been referred to three committees beginning with the House Tourism, Infrastructure and Energy Subcommittee. These are the members of that Committee.
Senate Bill 1310 has been filed and should get committee references by the opening day of Session next Tuesday, January 11.
This important preservation advocacy effort needs your help! There are several ways to get involved and help get this legislation passed and to the Governor’s office for approval.
How can you help?
1. Call or email your state representative and ask them to sign on to Rep. Salzman’s House Bill 247 as a cosponsor. As we continue our advocacy efforts, we will be seeking bipartisan support through cosponsors. You can locate your state representative here. Because we want every House member’s support don’t feel limited to contacting just your representative, please contact any House member you may know and ask them to sign on as a cosponsor House Bill 247.
2. Call or email your state senator and ask them to sign on to Senator Rodriguez’s Senate Bill 1310 as a cosponsor. The same as the House Bill we need as many Senate cosponsors as possible. You can locate your state senator here.
3. Finally, reach out to any member of the House Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Committee and ask them to support House Bill 247. It could be heard in this committee and voted as soon as next week.