CTA Header 070715-2.jpg

Save the Historic Tax Credit

The WRA strongly opposes the proposed changes to the historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) program, which would have a crippling effect on one of Wisconsin’s most successful economic development programs. The current HTC program has been very successful in meeting its objectives – generating economic development, creating jobs, growing local tax bases, restoring historically significant buildings, and generating state and local tax revenues.

Please “Take Action” today! Ask your state legislators to oppose the changes to the HTC program that are included in the 2017-19 state budget under consideration by the State Legislature.

Message

Historic Tax Credit Creates Jobs and Development

Dear [Decision Maker],

I'm writing today to ask you to oppose the proposed changes to the historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) program included in the 2017-19 state budget bill, AB 64/SB 30. The current HTC program has been very successful in meeting all its objectives promoting economic development, creating jobs, growing local tax bases, restoring historically significant buildings, and generating state and local tax revenues.

From 2014 to 2016, 118 historic projects received approval for state historic tax credits, totaling $171,095,000. A recent analysis by Baker Tilly of the impact of those projects clearly illustrates the success of the current HTC program.

1. Powerful economic engine

Economic output -- $683 million dollars in direct economic output during the construction period alone. This illustrates how public investment successfully leverages private investment.

Tax revenues

State -- $92.4 million dollars in additional state taxes in the same period including the ripple effect caused by the investment throughout the local economy. Owners pay sales tax on materials, income tax, payroll tax and others that immediately begin to pay back the state investment.

Local -- 637% increase in cumulative property tax. Project buildings are generally underutilized and contribute little property tax until after their rehabilitation work.

Job creation -- 10,950 new jobs were created in the three year period, including 9,882 construction jobs.

2. Smaller communities benefit too -- 69% of projects in 2016 were in communities of less than 100,000 population, attracting $167,400,629 dollars of total investment to those communities.

3. Blight elimination and urban renewal -- 60% of all projects in 2014 were vacant more than 20 years. These projects will not occur without the historic tax credits and the buildings will continue to blight their communities.

4. Repayment is immediate and quick -- The credit is fully repaid by increased state taxes at the end of the 5th year after completion and over a ten year period the state gets an $8 to $1 return on investment. Because the tax credit is fully repaid in 5 years, it generates new state tax revenue that makes other economic development programs possible.

5. The historic tax credit is low risk-high return -- The credit may not be claimed until the project is complete. If the project fails, the state does not pay out its credit. No project, no credit. The credit is used as collateral for bridge financing that pays for construction, so the credit is invested in bricks and mortar and does not go to the owner as profit.

The state budget proposes three principal changes that would negatively impact the HTC program. The $10 million cap on credits, the competitive grant process, and the clawback provision would limit the usefulness of the program and harm economic development. We urge you to reject the proposed changes to the HTC program contained in the state budget and allow the program to continue its positive impact of generating economic investment, job creation, and tax growth in Wisconsin communities.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

Contact

Recipients

  • Your State Representative or Representatives
  • Targeted recipients based on your address
*Required fields