Advocating for Historic Preservation                                                                                                      

30 April 2019 - NRHP RULES CHANGES

Voice your opposition to proposed changes to the rules for nominations

to the National Register of Historic Places and how properties are determined eligible!

7 Ways the Proposed Revisions Would Negatively Impact Our Community:

1. Federal historic properties: Federal agencies will be given total control of whether to nominate properties under their jurisdiction, meaning federally owned historic properties may no longer be added to the National Register of Historic Places.


2. Federal ownership in a historic district: A historic district nomination can be blocked if only one property in the entire district is owned by the US Government and the agency that owns the property objects to listing.


3. Property owner objections: Owners of large properties will be given an outweighed ability to block the listing of historic districts or other nominations to the National Register. Under the proposed revisions, objections to National Register listings will be based on the ownership of a majority of the land area in addition to the current counting of one private owner, one vote. There is no statutory authority to make this change and any such change would place a near impossible burden on State Historic Preservation Officers to implement.


4. Historic Tax Credit Projects: The vast majority of federal historic tax credit projects are in National Register historic districts. Changing the rules for owner objections to nominations will jeopardize the listing of new historic districts, and thus restrict the use of historic tax credits.


5. Section 106: Determinations of eligibility for listing in the National Register are the primary vehicle for considering whether a property is worthy of consideration under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The federal agency, not the Keeper of the National Register, will have the final say on the eligibility of a property under its jurisdiction, thereby thwarting consultation on a project.


6. Appeal Process: By law, any person or local government has the right to appeal the failure of a nominating authority to nominate a property to the National Register. That right will disappear if the property is a federally owned and the agency objects.


7. Consultation with Affected Parties: The proposed revisions falsely claim there would be no impact on federally recognized Indian tribes even though the changes would have a substantial effect on the recognition and consideration of historic places they value, which is contrary to the requirement to consult with tribes. Additionally, the revisions fail to consider potential concerns of State Historic Preservation Officers or others involved in historic preservation who would be drastically impacted and forced to adhere to these new rules.

Take a moment to submit your objections. The sample comment can be copied and submitted via the link below, or feel free to compose your own. 

Sample comment: 

I am writing in opposition to the proposed changes to the existing processes for determining eligibility and adding properties to the National Register of Historic Places. These changes would negatively impact the preservation of our historic structures and stories by impeding or halting the process of listing these sites on the National Register for Historic Places. Such listings are key in community revitalization, preservation of our architectural legacy, and access to the invaluable federal historic tax credit. I support retaining a process that is currently fair and open and oppose the proposed changes to the rules.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS

For more information and a more in-depth sample letter provided by our friends with Preservation Action:

CLICK HERE

24 April 2019 - Advocacy Update

THANK YOU for all of your help in support of HB 83!

Yesterday, HB 83 (extending the historic tax credit) passed unanimously, HOWEVER, it was amended by Representative Cameron Henry to include an annual monetary cap on the credits. Please stay tuned as we work with the Senate moving forward.

21 April 2019 - Advocacy Alert

Contact Your State Representative in Support of the Historic Tax Credit

Dear Friends,

We need your help in preserving the Louisiana Historic Tax Credit (HTC), which has played an important role in preserving culturally significant buildings across our state in rural and urban areas alike.

Our state HTC has supported the redevelopment of some of our most treasured structures, spurring revitalization and redevelopment in many areas.

This program has resulted in meaningful economic development in communities throughout Louisiana. A recent report from the Louisiana Lt. Governor's office stated that between 2009-2018, $3.7 billion has been invested in Louisiana as a result of the federal and state HTC programs.

On Tuesday, the Louisiana House of Representatives will consider House Bill (HB) 83 authored by Rep. Jimmy Harris of New Orleans. HB 83 would extend the expiration date of the Louisiana HTC program from 2022 to 2026. We need your help in making sure our lawmakers understand the importance of passing this legislation.

Please call/email your State Representative and ask them to vote in favor of HB 83 when it comes to the House floor on Tuesday.

CLICK HERE to see who represents you in the Louisiana House of Representatives and to obtain their contact information.

Thank you for your time and action!

All the best,

Preserve Louisiana

Federal Level

Last year, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy presented an amendment to the omnibus tax bill that saved the Federal Historic Tax Credit. Preserve Louisiana continues our work with all of our legislators’ offices to advocate for Historic Preservation in two key areas -the Historic Preservation Fund and the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act. Last week, historic preservation stakeholders from Louisiana met with each legislators office to discuss these two key areas.

The Historic Preservation Fund supports key pillars of preservation such as our SHPO office, grants to invest in geographic information systems-based mapping for historic resources, preservation and repair of historic buildings on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Save America’s Treasures Program, and and Civil Rights History Grants to name a few. Preserve Louisiana encourages our law makers to support the 2020 appropriations for this fund which is key to preserving our cultural and architectural heritage. Details can be found here.

Preserve Louisiana supports a potential improvement to the current tax credit on the federal level - Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act which aims to strengthen and improve the existing credit. This credit (referred to as the HTC) is critical in making historic preservation projects in our state and country possible. Improvements to the current credit in the new legislation include;

·         Making it easier to finance small deals (defined as qualified rehabilitation expenses not in excess of $3.75 million) by increasing the HTC to 30% for these projects and providing for transferable certificates;

·         Making more buildings eligible for the HTC by reducing the requirements to pass the substantial rehabilitation test;

·         Eliminating the tax credit basis reduction that decreases the value of the HTC;

·         Making it easier for tax-exempt projects, like community health centers, local art centers, schools, universities and community services, to qualify for HTCs; and

·         Updating National Park Service rules to ensure projects are evaluated promptly and efficiently.

Preserve Louisiana will continue to share updates as they become available.

State Level - See Above for current Action Alert

Preserve Louisiana, a member of the state tax credit coalition, is working with key preservation stake holders to support the extension of the sunset of the State Commercial Historic Tax Credit (a tool often used in tandem with the Federal HTC). Scheduled to sunset in 2021, the credit is a key tool in preservation of cultural and architecturally significant structures in our cities and rural areas alike. The proposed legislation would extend this invaluable credit to 2026. Every $1 that the state of Louisiana provides in commercial historic tax credits spurs $8.76 in additional economic activity. Lieutenant Governor Nungesser’s office hired historic preservation and economics guru, Donovan Rypkema, and his team at PlaceEconomics in Washington DC, to put together this informative report on our state tax credit, The Historic Tax Credit: Building the Future in Louisiana.

Preserve Louisiana applauds Representative Harris (D) and Senator Riser (R) for their bipartisan leadership in support of preserving the State Commercial Tax Credit.

We will update you on House Bill 83 as session progresses.

Stay tuned to see how you can help to preserve this tool in historic preservation on the state level.

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