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State Historic Tax Credit Legislation

On May 4th, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation staff along with other community representatives traveled to Harrisburg to lobby for the passage of the State Historic Tax Credit Bill. The historic tax credits bill passed the House unanimously last fall and now as Senate Bill 820 is being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The tax credit bill is also a line item on Governor Rendell’s proposed budget.

In addition to Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, representatives from communities including South Side, Friendship, Homestead, and Hazelwood joined the effort as well as staff from the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Downtown Living Initiative. Private developers as well as the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) assisted in the lobbying

The lobbying coalition met with a dozen Senators and their staff to discuss the bill and the potential it offered for increased development activity in Southwestern Pennsylvania. For the most part there was a clear understanding of its significant economic impact. The Senators encouraged
the lobbying group to urge their respective constituents in Southwestern Pennsylvania to write to legislators, so that the widespread support is recognized.

The proposed Historic Rehabilitation and Economic Revitalization Tax Credit Act is designed to capture investment capitalizing on historic rehabilitation. The highlights include:

• A 20 % tax credit on eligible redevelopment costs. The tax credits can be used to offset corporate net income tax, personal income tax, utility tax, insurance tax, bank and financial institute tax, and capital stock and franchise tax.

• It is modeled closely after the Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit program.

• Developers can utilize separate investors for the state and federaltax credits and sell the credits to a third party who is not an investor in the project or partnership.

• Tax credits awarded on a competitive basis focusing on projects that create strong economic impact, have the greatest historical, cultural and architectural importance and are geographically diverse.

The statewide annual cap presently in Senate Bill 820 for tax credits is $20 million and individual projects may not receive more than $4 million. The budget line item is positioned at $11.5 million.

For additional information on this tax credit as well as that will be offered to private residence, please email

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633