Historic buildings and future development projects could take a hit under a new tax cut plan released last week by House Republicans eliminating the Federal Historic Tax Credit.
If eliminated, a number of projects across the state and in the Milwaukee area depending on the 20 percent credit could be affected.

“The HTC attracts capital to development by making available a credit equal to 20 percent of eligible rehabilitation expenses only to qualified projects,” said a letter written to Wisconsin’s House Republicans and signed by nearly 100 state municipal leaders, developers and historic preservationists. “This creates the opportunity for a return on investment for the owner that would otherwise not be available. Making such projects possible facilitates significant local investment and economic development while preserving our history.”

A representative for House Speaker Paul Ryan could not immediately be reached for comment.
A similar letter was sent to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Ways & Means.
Over the last 15 years, the federal HTC has made 188 projects possible in Wisconsin, creating more than 14,000 jobs and a total private sector investment of $736.1 million, according to the letter.

“In 2016 alone projects totaling more than $28 million in private investment were approved in Wisconsin communities with populations under 60,000, proving that this program benefits every corner of Wisconsin,” the letter said. “Between 2014 and 2016 HTC projects have added more than $570 million in new property tax assessment value to Wisconsin communities.”

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This article was first published in BizTimes by Corrinne Hess.