Cuts to Sustainable Communities Tax Credit will jeopardize job-creating projects

Preservation Maryland voiced serious concern for proposed cuts to programs that support community and economic development through historic preservation. In a proposed budget released on January 23, the Hogan administration announced cuts to several programs in both future and existing funding.

Taylor’s Furniture store in Ellicott City. 2015 tax credit project.

Taylor’s Furniture store in Ellicott City. 2015 tax credit project.

The proposed budget would slash $2 million of the appropriation to the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit over the course of 2015 and 2016. The tax credit is a job-creating program that supports private sector investment in historic buildings across the state.

CLICK HERE TO SEE CURRENT 2015 TAX CREDIT PROJECTS

In addition to cutting future funding by $1 million, the plan would also reduce existing 2015 funding by $1 million – despite the fact that these funds have already been publicly committed. Rather than creating an environment of stability for business, these cuts create instability for the private sector and threaten to stall the job growth and economic development potentially generated by these efforts.

Click on the graphic to open a larger version.

Click on the graphic to open a larger version.

According to a recent report by the Abell Foundation, for every $1 of tax credits issued through the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program, $8.53 of economic activity are generated. Additionally, according to the same study, on average, every $1 million worth of state investment in the program creates nearly 72.5 jobs. Thus, by cutting $2 million worth of tax credits – the state could lose $17,000,000 worth of economic activity and nearly 150 jobs.

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Regrettably, the governor’s proposed budget also includes a $300,000 retroactive cut to existing 2015 funding for the state’s 13 heritage areas – cuts that will be directly passed on to local heritage tourism oriented businesses. The state’s 13 heritage areas are one of the primary tools used to encourage heritage tourism to Maryland. Studies have repeatedly found that heritage tourists stay longer and spend more than any other travelers.

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Preservation Maryland’s Executive Director, Nicholas Redding, explained, “We understand times are tough but the budget shouldn’t be balanced on the backs of businesses working to revitalize the state. It seems like the governor’s tough medicine has been prescribed incorrectly.” Redding continued, “To cut previously awarded funds seems totally at odds with making Maryland business friendly and we trust the administration and legislature will find other ways to bring fiscal stability to the state.”

Will funding still exist to market Maryland’s treasures?

Will funding still exist to market Maryland’s treasures?

Contact:
Nicholas Redding, Executive Director
Preservation Maryland
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 248
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
410-685-2886, ext. 306
nredding@presmd.org

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Since 1931, Preservation Maryland has worked to protect the places, stories and communities in Maryland that matter. As a non-profit organization, it works with partners across the state to accomplish this important mission and protect the Best of Maryland.

More information:

Preservation Maryland on the web

Preservation Maryland on Facebook

Preservation Maryland on Twitter

Envision Frederick County
“Are you ready to talk Preservation?”
January 2, 2015

WTHU AM1450
“Eye on our Community” radio interview with Nicholas Redding
January 9, 2015

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