Urgent Action Needed: Advocate for a 20% HTC in Final House/Senate Reconciled Bill

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By: Staff, Historic Columbia

Wednesday, January 10th 2018

Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill with a 20% Historic Tax Credit, HTC Eliminated in House,
Urgent Action Needed: Advocate for a 20% HTC in Final House/Senate Reconciled Bill

Early on Saturday morning, the United States Senate passed its tax reform bill on a vote of 51-49, moving the legislation to a House and Senate Conference Committee to reconcile the two versions of tax reform. The Senate bill restores the 20% Historic Tax Credit (HTC) with a provision that it will be claimed over five years.


In November, Senate Finance Committee legislation eliminated the pre-1936 10% non-historic “old-building” credit and reduced the 20% HTC to 10%. HTC advocates were successful in working with Senator Cassidy (R-LA), and other Finance Committee Senators, to support a provision to restore the HTC to 20% for historic buildings. As a cost saving measure, the “Cassidy Amendment” provided that the 20% credit will be released over the 5-year compliance/recapture period (or 4% per year). The Finance Committee approved the provision, which was included in a Manager’s Amendment, on a party line vote.

The House passed a tax reform bill on November 16th. The House version of the bill eliminates both the 10% pre-1936 non-historic “old building” credit and the 20% HTC. With House Republicans highly motivated for a legislative win, few Republicans voted against the bill.

Next Steps

House members will still have an opportunity to voice their continuing support of the HTC when the House and Senate negotiate the final tax package. Many House members and supporters of the HTC have encouraged House Leadership to accept the improvements in the Senate bill and advocates are encouraged THIS WEEK to continue sending this message to their Members of Congress.

While advocates are disappointed they could not fully restore the 20% HTC to current law and prevent the elimination of the 10% pre-1936 rehabilitation credit, they are standing their ground, insisting on the Senate provision and that no further erosion takes place.

Your immediate ACTION is needed!

Please consider joining Historic Columbia to voice your opposition to the elimination of the Historic Tax Credit. Contact your Representative and let them know that we will be watching their vote on this important issue that has moral and economic ramifications for communities across our country.

View a robust preservation advocacy toolkit including talking points and statistics developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In Columbia, we are represented by Congressmen Jim Clyburn and Congressman Joe Wilson. Find your House member.

Congressman Jim Clyburn

  • Chief of Staff: yebbie.watkins@mail.house.gov
  • Legislative staff: craig.link@mail.house.gov

Congressman Joe Wilson

  • Chief of Staff: jonathan.day@mail.house.gov
  • Legislative Director: taylor.andreae@mail.house.gov
  • Legislative staff matt.blackwell@mail.house.gov

It is also not too early to contact Senator Graham and Senator Scott.

Senator Tim Scott

  • Chief of Staff: jennifer_decasper@scott.senate.gov
  • Legislative Director: charles_cogar@scott.senate.gov
  • Tax Legislative Asst: shay_hawkins@scott.senate.gov

Senator Lindsay Graham

  • Chief of Staff: Richard_perry@lgraham.senate.gov
  • Legislative Director: matt_rimkunas@lgraham.senate.gov
  • Tax Legislative Asst: nick_myers@lgraham.senate.gov

Taking action won’t take long and is important for building the groundswell we will need to save the Historic Tax Credit.

Thank you for helping Historic Columbia shine a light on this important issue.

Great HTC #TBT from Cola Today

More on the HTC from The Columbia Star


Call (during office hours) the offices of your Members of Congress. Ask to speak to tax staff, your staff contacts in offices or ask for email addresses of tax staff.

A suggested outline of your email message or phone call:

1. Introduce Yourself as a Constituent

Republican House Members: Say “I am extremely concerned that the House eliminated the Historic Tax Credit, an important community redevelopment incentive available to revitalize our main streets, towns, and cities and preserve our heritage. Will you please work with House leadership to include the Senate’s 20% Historic Tax Credit provision in the final tax package when you work out the differences in the House and Senate bills?”

Contact info: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Republican Senators: Say ““I would like to thank the Senator for supporting a tax reform bill that includes a 20% Historic Tax Credit in Senate tax reform bill. This is a significant improvement compared to the elimination in the House bill. Please communicate to Senate Republican Leaders and Chairman Hatch (R-UT) that they must not weaken important protections for the Historic Tax Credit when they reconcile the House and Senate bills.”

Contact info: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

2. Explain why you value Historic Tax Credits, and that the redevelopment of historic buildings will not get done without the HTC.

3. Let them know some previous and future HTC projects in your state/district (Link to State HTC Map and Project List under Advocacy Resources below).

4. Touch on why these historic buildings are so challenging but important to our communities.

5. If your Member of Congress has agreed to help, please remember to thank them and tell others about their support!

It is extremely important to keep all Capitol Hill communication constructive and respectful.