Ronald Reagan put the historic tax credit into the U.S. tax code. Donald Trump’s company tried to use it.
Now Republicans are fighting to get rid of it.
Once crumbling reminders of the past, nearly a dozen glitzy Art Deco hotels along Miami Beach have benefited from the credit, which could be wiped out in the Republican tax bill. Well-known landmarks throughout America have also taken advantage of the break, from San Francisco’s famed Ferry Building to Asheville, North Carolina’s Grove Arcade and a horse barn at the Biltmore Estate.
It’s a tax credit that’s been used for 40 years to help spark the rebirth of old, historically significant buildings as well as often neglected communities. At one point The Trump Organization applied for the federal historic preservation tax credit for its Washington hotel.
Now, history buffs, developers and preservationists nationwide are banding together in hopes of fending off the push to end the tax credit.
And they’re invoking the Republicans’ most enduring modern historic figure, Reagan, who signed legislation making the provision a permanent part of the tax code in 1986.
“We have a limited supply of historic buildings and we want to make it viable economically to preserve them,” said Melissa Wyllie, executive director of the non-profit Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. “From a development standpoint this tax credit can make the difference between preserving a building or starting from scratch, and potentially demolishing one.”
Republicans say they are trying to trim such tax breaks as part of their effort to deliver across the board tax relief.
“With the lowest tax rates in modern history for American businesses of all sizes, this legislation will allow our local job creators to keep more of their earnings to invest as they see fit — including in local revitalization projects,” said Shane McDonald, House Ways and Means Committee spokesman.
Read more here.