NEW ORLEANS – Sen. Bill Cassidy led Louisiana’s Congressional delegation in a successful big to save the Federal Historic Tax Credit as Republicans pushed their signature tax bill through Congress.
The tax credit has spurred more than $2.5 billion on private investment over the past 15 years nationally and created more than 38,000 jobs in Louisiana during that same time period, according to the Preservation Resource center.
“The federal historic tax credit has provided catalytic reinvestment across New Orleans and pushed Louisiana into a leadership position in terms of capitalizing on our existing building inventory. From our downtown core to the commercial corridors of our urban main streets, the HTC has leveraged billions of private investment dollars into jobs, housing and economic opportunity,” PRC Advocacy Coordinator Erin Holmes said.
Cassidy championed language within the tax overhaul bill that preserved the HTC at 20 percent when early drafts cut the credit by 50 percent.
Working with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, U.S. Representatives Ralph Abraham, Garrett Graves, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, and Cedric Richmond, Cassidy helped ensure the HTC wasn’t diminished, according to the PRC.
The payout period for the HTC, however, was stretched out over a period of five years from the current one year payout in the final bill.
“If not for the work of Sens. Cassidy and Kennedy and many members of our U.S. House of Representatives delegation, downtown Shreveport would have lost projects already in the mix, significant investment opportunities in our city center and important historic structures that could never be replicated,” Shreveport Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Liz Swaine said. “With the federal credit, our efforts to create jobs and opportunity through rehabilitating our historic downtown move forward.”
Preserving the HTC at its current rate will have a direct and positive impact on Louisiana, according to Greater New Orleans, Inc. president and CEO Michael Hecht.
“The historic tax credit has been a critical component of the revitalization of Greater New Orleans, and its preservation means continued economic development opportunities for our region,” Hecht said.