Advocacy Alert: Federal Legislative Updates
Summer is nearly over, and with it, so ends Congress’ August recess. When our Congressional delegation returns to session in September, there are a number of preservation-related issues they will weigh in on. Contact your representatives now to ask them to support the following preservation issues!
Support & Reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund
As Congress sets program spending levels for the upcoming fiscal year, one of the programs they will be looking at is the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF provides critical funding to all 59 State Historic Preservation Offices, more than 200 Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, and several important preservation grant programs. Advocates are seeking $225 million in funding for the HPF in the coming year to ensure continued support to these programs.
At the same time, a bill (H.R. 3350) has been introduced to reauthorize the HPF for another 10 years. With the HPF’s current authorization set to expire on September 30, passage is critical. This bill would provide much-needed certainty to the states, tribes, and local communities that rely on this federal funding to carry out their vital preservation work. Tell your legislators that you support full funding and reauthorization of the Historic Preservation Fund!
Support for National Heritage Areas
Washington is home to two new National Heritage Areas (NHAs), designated in 2019: the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area and our own Maritime Washington National Heritage Area. Together they are part of a network of more than 60 NHAs across the country which work to preserve and tell the stories of our nation’s history and culture.
The National Park Service is requesting $34 million in its 2024 fiscal year to fund the NHA program (also known as the Heritage Partnership Program), which means continued support for our own local National Heritage Areas. Let your legislators know you value our Washington State NHAs and want to see this request fully funded!
Senate and House champions have reintroduced the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act or HTC-GO (H.R. 1785, S.639). These bills include four permanent provisions that will add value to the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), improve access to the credit, make more projects eligible to use the credit, and increase investment in smaller rehabilitation projects.
The federal Historic Tax Credit is the largest federal investment in historic preservation and a critical economic development tool used to revitalize our communities. Unfortunately, the value of the HTC incentive has diminished over the past decade because of IRS rulings, administrative burdens, changes in the credit structure, etc. HTC-GO strengthens the federal Historic Tax Credit as a tool and supports preservation across the nation. Urge your Congressional representatives to co-sponsor these bipartisan bills!
Contact Your Legislators
Want to make your voice heard? We’ve put together a letter template and toolkit for you to use! Just follow the prompts below to send a message to your legislators asking them to support preservation and heritage this September.