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Encourage Historic Preservation Through Tax Incentives and Federal Programs

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Sens. Cardin (D-MD) and Snowe (R-ME) introduce CAPP Act in Senate

AIA Position

The American Institute of Architects believes that preservation of historic resources and their environments deserves high priority from policymakers.

Background

The Creating American Prosperity through Preservation, or CAPP Act, seeks to protect and improve the federal rehabilitation tax credit. Introduced by Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in the House (H.R. 2479 in the last Congress) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) in the Senate (S. 2074), the CAPP Act would greatly enhance the historic tax credit’s impact on local economies.

For smaller sized deals, the most recent 20 percent historic tax credit is often not enough of an incentive to justify the expenses involved in pursuing the credit. Increasing the amount of the credit from 20 percent to 30 percent for “small deals” (projects less than $5 million in qualifying rehabilitation expenditures) could fix this issue. It would also ensure that rural communities and “Main Street” downtown that typically don’t have large-scale historic rehab projects in their midst, could benefit from the federal historic tax credit’s job-creating and community revitalization effects.

In addition, CAPP provisions would increase the historic credit amount by two percentage points for historic rehabilitation projects that achieve 30 percent or greater savings in energy consumption—this on top of the already green act of reusing an existing building.

Useful Links

The National Trust for Historic Preservation background on CAPP Act

Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties

 

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