Both of these bills would mainly:
(1) allow an increased 30% credit (from the current 20% credit) for small-sized transactions, between $750,000 and $3.75 million;
(2) simplifies the tax credit transfer process for projects under $2.5 million.
We need your help in asking our Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor this bill and move it forward. Currently, there are no Senators or Representatives from West Virginia co-sponsoring this bill.
If you would like to see a list of projects utilizing the historic tax credit, please visit http://www.preservationnation.org/take-action/advocacy-center/additional-resources/historic-tax-credit-maps/2015/WV_map-and-economic-impacts-and-project-lists-from-2001-to-2014.pdf.
How can you help?
Please contact your Senators and Representative today. As their constituent, your opinion matters, and these improvements to the tax credit can make more projects viable in West Virginia. It’s as simple as sending an email. They’re contact information is available at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc2011&state=wv. All you need to do is complete a contact form asking them to co-sponsor either HR3846 or S2655. If you want to send something more substantial, here is a sample letter.
As a constituent who values the preservation of our state’s rich and diverse heritage, we respectfully request that you co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act, S. 2655 / H.R. 3846. Your support of this legislation will demonstrate our nation’s ongoing commitment to federal tax policies that help revitalize our economy and preserve Main Street communities throughout the nation.
The Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act, H.R. 3846 / S. 2655, introduced in the House by Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and in the Senate by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), would reform the federal rehabilitation tax credit for the first time in thirty years in several important ways by:
Since President Reagan signed the federal historic tax credit into law, it has leveraged nearly $117 billion in private investment, created 2.5 million jobs and adapted more than 41,250 buildings for new and productive uses. And the credit more than pays for itself – over the life of the program the IRS has issued $24 billion in tax credits while generating more than $28.6 billion in direct federal tax revenue. Today, it is the most significant investment the federal government makes to preserve our nation’s historic properties.
From 2001 – 2014, the Internal Revenue Service awarded almost $28 million in federal historic tax credits to projects in West Virginia, resulting in the completion of 85 projects statewide and nearly $168 million in total development expenditures. For these 85 projects, 3,366 jobs were created, and $34 million in federal, state, and local taxes were generated.
Over this thirteen year period, projects were very frequently completed in historic downtowns and for various purposes including downtown development, housing, entertainment, office space, and more. Some of the more recognizable projects include the Quarrier Diner restaurant building in Charleston, the First Ward School Apartment Building in Elkins, the Ritz Theatre in Hinton, the Old JC Penny Building in Huntington that is now home to the Taste of Asia, the Morgantown Beauty College building, and many more.
Please consider signing on as a co-sponsor to the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act, S. 2655 / H.R. 3846. As always, we look forward to continuing our collaborative work with Congress, preservation and partner organizations, business leaders, and individuals working to recognize the value of the historic tax credit, and its role in improving the quality of life in cities and towns across the nation. Your support of the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act is greatly appreciated. Please let us know what information we may provide to help ensure the federal historic tax credit continues our nation’s successful policy of preserving and revitalizing our older and historic communities.
As Appalachian Forest Heritage Area continues to work with West Virginia Congressional delegations to seek National Heritage Area designation for Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, they need to show widespread support. You can show your support by a support letter to AFHA, and/or by contacting your Congressional offices directly.
Contact Your Representatives
Directly contact your representatives. Call their DC office and leave a message, or email through their web site contact. You can also contact their in-state staff and share this message as well.
Contact your Congressman to thank them for their sponsorship of HR 693 to designate Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, and encourage them to also support HR 581 the National Heritage Area Program bill.
Congressman David McKinley, WV 1st https://mckinleyforms.house.gov/email-me 202-225-4172
Congressman Alex Mooney, WV 2nd https://mooney.house.gov/contact 202-225-2711
Congressman Evan Jenkins, WV 3rd https://evanjenkins.house.gov/contact (202) 225-3452
Congressman John Delaney, MD 6th District http://delaney.house.gov/contact/email-me 202-225-2721
Contact your Senator’s office to thank them for their support, and encourage them to again sponsor a Senate bill to designate Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area. Encourage them to also support a bill to establish a National Heritage Area Program.
Sen. Joe Manchin http://www.manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact 202-224-3954
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito http://www.capito.senate.gov/content/contact-shelley 202-224-6472
Sen. Ben Cardin http://www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/ 202-224-4524
Sen. Barbara Mikulski http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/contact/ 202-224-4654
Please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know the contacts you’ve made, and if you get a response.
Write AFHA Support Letter
You or your organization can show your support by sending a support letter or resolution directly to AFHA. Then we can share it with our representatives to show our widespread support. If you previously wrote a letter, you can write a new one that indicates renewed support, or discusses progress that AFHA has made since our initial round of letters in 2004 – 2006. We also are seeking letters that support the National Heritage Area Program and passage of a NHA Program Bill. Success with this bill will make passage of the AFNHA bill much more likely. For general support letter or resolution, please include the following sentiments: I/we support National Heritage Area designation for the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
Also acceptable, although not as strong a statement, is: I/we support national recognition of the significance of our forest region (or of our forest heritage assets.)
Address it to: Appalachian Forest Heritage Area Board, PO Box 1206, Elkins WV 26241
If you email it, pdf is preferred with an original signature.
Send to email@example.com
Letter content, samples, talking points:
The letter can talk about your own organization if you want, and how AFHA has benefited or will benefit your work. It can include ways you expect to be involved or support AFHA. Some additional talking points follow – just pick what applies to you, and feel free to rephrase it if you want. The letter can be short (preferably keep to one page) – but best in your own words. It doesn’t matter so much what you say, but more that fact that you have made the effort to write.
Talking Points – AFHA:
Talking Points – NHA Program Bill:
Sample organizational letters can be found at the AFHA website.
Sample organization letter
ys you expect to be involved or support AFHA. Some additional talking points follow – just pick what applies to you, and feel free to rephrase it if you want. The letter can be short (preferably keep to one page) – but best in your own words. It doesn’t matter so much what you say, but more that fact that you have made the effort to write.
A bill to designate the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 3. HR 693 was introduced by Congressman David McKinley (WV-1) with co-sponsorship from Congressmen Evan Jenkins (WV-3), Alex Mooney (WV-2) and John Delaney (MD-6). The area is made up of 18 counties in the Appalachian highlands that reach into all three West Virginia districts and western Maryland.
Designation as a National Heritage Area will bring recognition of the national significance of the area, marketing and technical assistance from the National Park Service, and potential matching funds for Heritage Area local projects. There are currently 49 National Heritage Areas across the country, each designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. National Heritage Areas provide a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development.
“West Virginia’s abundant natural resources include its scenic landscapes, forests, touring areas, historic sites, and fishing and hunting spaces,” said Congressman McKinley. “The Heritage Area designation will recognize these unique places while ensuring the local community has control and safe and productive use can continue. This legislation addresses the concerns of many in West Virginia and throughout the region and we will continue to build support for it.”
Appalachian Forest Heritage Area has been working for more than twelve years to recognize, improve, and promote the forest heritage of the highlands of West Virginia and western Maryland. “Our accomplishments include wide-ranging partnerships, conservation improvements, heritage tourism development, and interpretation about our forest heritage,” said Phyllis Baxter, Executive Director. “We are thrilled that our Congressmen sponsored this bill to bring national recognition of our forest heritage and more opportunities for our communities.”
Recent projects of the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area include the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center in the Darden Mill in Elkins, featuring forest heritage displays and information about sites to visit around the region. Conservation projects have included tree plantings and efforts to control non-native invasive species. The AFHA AmeriCorps program places AmeriCorps members at sub-sponsor sites to provide direct service to improve communities and the environment. Appalachian Forest Heritage Area works only with willing partners and welcomes participation from individual, organization, and business members.
For more information see www.appalachianforest.us, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 304-636-6182.
A PDF of the Development Grant Report is downloadable and can be shared with your legislators and friends.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia recently released a study that found state-appropriated Historic Preservation Development Grants revitalize West Virginia’s downtowns and encourage small business growth and sustainability across the state. The Historic Preservation Development Grant drives economic development by providing property owners with a grant award to rehabilitate historic properties. In 2014, the alliance researched the economic impact of grants and found that the Historic Preservation Development Grant generated almost $1 million in private investment in construction projects. Unfortunately, the grant has been decreased by 52% in the last three years and is no longer able to support as many or as large-scale projects, causing delays to ongoing renovations. Based on the alliance’s findings, the group is requesting the WV Legislature restore the grant budget to $563,570, the level at which it was funded in FY2013.
West Virginians are reusing historic assets at an increasing rate, revitalizing downtowns, and repurposing historic buildings — and the Historic Preservation Development Grant is a vital tool in the rehabilitation process. These historic assets are recognized through the National Register of Historic Places – the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. One of the benefits of this honorary designation is access to special grant funding and tax credits targeted at preserving and reusing historic resources. At the state government level, property owners – both private and public – can access the Historic Preservation Development Grant, which can be used for roof repair or replacement, window and door rehab, electrical updating, and more. “It is clear that the grant is good for the people and the economy of West Virginia, but until now, there has been little data to prove this assertion,” stated Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director for the Preservation Alliance. In addition to generating private investment, projects utilizing this grant are also more likely to be grassroots driven, involving volunteers and owners that are living and working in West Virginia. “The grant funds are most frequently spent in communities where other tourism and economic development activities are occurring like the West Virginia Main Street program. Improvements made possible through this funding are visible at many of West Virginia’s most iconic historical resources and downtown tourist destinations, including the Staats Building in Charleston’s West Side and Carnegie Hall in downtown Lewisburg,” LaPresta noted.
This research is released just as the WV Legislature is beginning to review the FY2016 budget. LaPresta and the alliance hope that this research will encourage legislators to restore the Historic Preservation Development Grant budget to $563,570. The alliance is encouraging West Virginians to contact their legislators and show their support for this grant program. For more information, call 304-345-6005 or email email@example.com.
FY 2012 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
FY 2013 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
FY2014 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
FY 2015 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s campaign to protect the historic tax credit from elimination on Capitol Hill just scored an important victory! Late last week, U.S. Representatives Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) introduced legislation that would enhance the credit’s ability to preserve historic buildings and revitalize our communities.
The bill’s introduction is an especially important milestone considering a tax reform plan put forth by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) last February that called for eliminating the tax credit.
Help us capitalize on this development by reaching out to your representative TODAY to urge their co-sponsorship of the “Creating American Prosperity through Preservation” (CAPP) Act (H.R. 5655).
As this current session of Congress comes to a close, and we look to establish a strong foundation for the next session, it is essential we demonstrate member support for the historic tax credit now. Thank you for letting your representative know that the historic tax credit and its impact on our historic communities matters to you.
By Danielle, Executive Director
Abandoned and dilapidated properties are a problem for almost every community in West Virginia. Statistics compiled by the Coalfield Development Corporation last year reveal there are over 500 derelict buildings in McDowell County, 180 discarded residences in Beckley, and in the last ten years, over 400 neglected structures have been demolished in Clarksburg alone. These numbers are astonishing! Most communities realize the abandoned and dilapidated properties cause a slippery slope to reduced property values and tax base, increased crime and drug activity, significant environmental, health, and safety hazards, and more. Towns and cities all over West Virginia are feeling the effects of a dwindling population and do not know how to handle it.
Last year, a group of nonprofit organizations – WV Community Development Hub, WV Brownfields Assistance Center, Coalfield Development Corporation, the Municipal League, and multiple individual communities – joined together as partners to form the Abandoned Properties Coalition (APC). The APC’s goal is to address this pervasive problem plaguing much of West Virginia on a statewide basis rather than on a case-by-case one. The APC is working with state legislators to pass specific legislation to address this problem and working together to remove arbitrary hurdles that make counteracting the epidemic abandoned properties more difficult. The goals of this initiative are to pull together stakeholders wanting to offset the negative effects of abandoned properties and be a unified voice (support organizations plus local municipalities) offering solutions that will have on-the-ground impacts in these communities. This can be achieved by dispersing information and educating communities with abandoned properties, and collaborating with legislators focused on improving policy. These partners realize that communities and legislators need many tools to effectively manage the situation. These tools should not be limited to demolition, the go-to for many town leaders, but also preservation, deconstruction, and adaptive re-use.
PAWV joined the APC to bring our expertise in preservation and adaptive re-use of discarded historic properties. This partnership can build upon PAWV’s own statewide initiative, the West Virginia Endangered Properties Program, which works with communities to build support for and brings new life to neglected historic properties. Moreover, PAWV plans to advocate against any impending demolitions of National Register properties by reaching out to the WV State Historic Preservation Office, Certified Local Governments, and Landmarks Commissions.
It is our belief that the preservation and re-use of our historic built environment are essential tools to prevent the perpetuating problems initiated by decaying structures and derelict properties. Preservation can reinvigorate a sense of community, and it is proven to increase property values and the tax base. As your statewide advocate for historic preservation, PAWV, in partnership with the APC, promises to continue our efforts to preserve and protect West Virginia’s heritage.
We are excited to share that West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller introduced legislation, Senate Bill 1641, that would designate Appalachian Forest Heritage Area as a National Heritage Area, in addition to extending funding for two other West Virginia National Heritage Areas, Coal Heritage and Wheeling.
We encourage everyone to show their support and participation for this bill by contacting their Senators to thank them for this sponsorship, and to contact your Representatives to encourage a companion bill in the House. You can also submit letters of support on behalf of this bill. AFHA is currently updating its website to include information on the Senate bill, and to provide more information on expressing support. We urge all of you to check www.appalachianforest.us starting next week to find out how you can help.
Please see the following press release for more information about the bill.
ROCKEFELLER SAYS HERITAGE AREA BILL WILL STRENGTHEN TOURISM, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN WV
Senators Manchin, Mikulski and Cardin join bill to reauthorize funding for two National Heritage Areas in West Virginia while adding new designation for a third that includes Maryland
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today said legislation he introduced will strengthen tourism in West Virginia and Maryland by securing federal funding for existing National Heritage Areas in Wheeling and in southern West Virginia, while creating a new one in the state’s eastern mountains, as well as the Mountain Counties of Maryland.
The West Virginia National Heritage Area Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, supports continued National Park Service funding and technical assistance for the Wheeling National Heritage Area and the National Coal Heritage Area, while designating the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area as a National Heritage Area. The new region would encompass 16 counties in West Virginia and two in Maryland.
“Tourism is such an important part of West Virginia’s economy, creating jobs and enriching people’s lives,” Rockefeller said. “Our state has so much to offer, whether it’s a tour of Independence Hall in Wheeling, a trip back in time through the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, or a day spent fishing on mountain streams in the Monongahela National Forest. These historic, cultural and natural treasures need to be preserved for—and enjoyed by—future generations of West Virginians.”
Federal funding for the National Coal Heritage Area expired in 2012, and will expire for the Wheeling National Heritage Area in 2015. Rockefeller’s bill would continue funding for all three National Heritage Areas until 2017.
“West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in our nation and we must preserve our many natural wonders for the next generation of West Virginians and for the visitors from all over the world who visit our great state each year,” Manchin said. “This commonsense measure is an investment in a healthy future for both our children and our growing tourism industry.”
“Strengthening the tourism economy of Western Maryland is a smart investment that will continue to draw in new visitors, new jobs and economic development to the region,” said Senator Mikulski. “Maryland is a state rich in history and culture with many unique treasures. By supporting National Heritage Areas, we will honor Maryland’s key role in American history for future generations while encouraging heritage tourists to enjoy the state’s terrific combination of natural beauty.”
“The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area supports the growing outdoor recreation and tourism economies of Garrett and Allegany counties. Importantly, it simultaneously helps to preserve the rich culture of Mountain Maryland,” said Senator Cardin. “I want to applaud Maryland’s local leaders who encouraged this new designation, understanding how celebrating the natural and cultural heritage of Mountain Maryland is good for business in Mountain Maryland and the entire region.”
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. NHAs are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Through public-private partnerships, NHA entities support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects.
Below is a copy of the letter PAWV is sending to Senator Manchin. We will tweak it slightly before sending it to Senator Rockefeller, as he is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Please feel free to send this letter to the Senators and ask them to fight to preserve the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit during tax reform.
Dear Senator Manchin,
This is Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV). On behalf of the Board of Directors and PAWV members, I am writing to ask you to submit the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to the Senate Finance Committee during tax reform discussions. Please ask the Committee to renew the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit because it is an economic engine supporting private investment, and it creates good jobs.
The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit makes a positive impact. It levels the playing field in terms of the cost to rehabilitate existing buildings versus the cost and incentives for new construction. Preservation projects are known to revitalize neighborhoods, support local economies, and create lasting improvements. Also, we know that in West Virginia, and in 30 other states, the state government increases the effects of the federal investment with State Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Please do not let this valuable tool be eliminated during tax reform.
The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a worthwhile investment for the federal government. It has generated over $66 million dollars of private investment into historic buildings and communities. Revitalization projects such as the adaptive re-use of First Ward School in Elkins, the renovation of the old Wheeling Public Library, the preservation of downtown Lewisburg, and the development of heritage tourism sites in Jefferson County demonstrate how historic preservation works in West Virginia’s communities. As developers have told me on numerous occasions, without the Tax Credit, these revitalization projects would not be possible. Additionally, the Tax Credit has created 2.4 million quality and higher paying jobs in the country to date with an estimated 75% coming from within the project’s region. The Tax Credit has proven its usefulness and necessity, time and time again.
I urge you to submit the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to the Senate Finance Committee during tax reform discussions. It represents a greater return than investment for the federal government; generating $25.9 billion while costing $20.5 billion. When a historic building no longer meets the needs for which it was built, the Tax Credit provides additional investment to bring new life to the building and to our communities.
If you have any questions about the content in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me. We need incentives like the Tax Credit in West Virginia, and I hope you will argue for this Tax Credit during tax reform.
The Residential Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit has assisted homeowners throughout West Virginia to repair, retain, and improve quality housing for families of all income levels. The purpose of the credit is to provide the needed incentive to repair older homes (including condos) listed individually or in a National Register historic district and to help individual homeowners afford this material rehabilitation. It also encourages work that meets the “Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings” by providing a 20% tax credit for qualifying expenditures including roof, window, and siding replacement and the upgrade of heating systems.
If HB 2916 and SB 436 are passed, this tax credit would be eliminated beginning July 1, 2013.
UPDATES ~ Currently both bills are in committees with HB 2916 in the House Finance Committee (http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/house/HouseCommittee.cfm?Chart=fin)
and SB 436 in the Senate Government Organization Committee
(http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/senate/SenateCommittee.cfm?Chart=govo). Neither of the bills have been added to the agenda of the respective committees, and the bills must be out of committees by March 31st to ensure three full days of readings – which means that if the bills do not leave their respective committees by March 31, the bills have no chance of being passed into law this session. You can contact the respective committee members, at the above links, to show your support for the tax credit.
Why is the residential tax credit so important?
Although the bills are not up for vote yet, you can still make your voice heard by contacting your State Delegates and Senators to make them aware of this threat. You can show them your support for the tax credit by asking them to vote NO to HB 2916 or SB 436 if they are to come up in this session. You can call their office, send emails, or faxes.
Contact information for state senators is here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Senate1/roster.cfm
Contact information for state delegates is here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/House/roster.cfm
Many industrial construction projects require cultural surveys for locating cemeteries, battlefields, and other historic and prehistoric sites before beginning work. Cultural surveys are typically required as part of federal and state permitting and licensing processes. This is to protect such places from being inadvertently desecrated during highway construction, coal production, wind farm construction, and natural gas production and transmission. Despite this seemingly obvious concept, cultural surveys are not required for non-jurisdictional gathering lines used in the transportation of natural gas.
–>What is a Cultural Survey?
A cultural survey is a search executed by a trained professional, i.e. an archaeologist, to make sure that construction plans avoid culturally significant resources like cemeteries, churches and other historically and culturally significant sites.
–>What Does this Bill Do?
–>What is a Non-jurisdictional Gathering Line?
A gathering line generally runs from the gas well to a processing plant or larger transmission line. Pipelines that perform a gathering function are exempt from FERC regulation under the Natural Gas Act of 1938. The WV Public Service Commission, in cooperation with the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, regulates approximately 555 miles of Class II, Class III, and Class IV gathering lines in West Virginia for safety. Class I gathering lines are most common in rural areas and are not regulated by WVPSC/PHMSA. Such lines are generally referred to as “non-jurisdictional gathering lines” as they are not regulated by any state or federal agency. Since they are not issued permits, licenses, or approval by a state or federal agency, such pipeline construction projects are not currently required to conduct cultural surveys prior to construction.
–>Why is this Bill Important?
West Virginia’s history is as dynamic as its landscape, as is evident by the wealth of rural cemeteries, graves, and other historic sites. SHPO records the presence of cemeteries, but only when reported by the public. Many go unreported and remain absent from the state’s records and maps. Also, many rural cemeteries and graves have a variety of markers in addition to the typical modern headstone, necessitating the need for a trained professional to recognize their presence to assure proper identification. This bill not only extends protection to the remains of West Virginian descendants, but helps preserve our state’s rich heritage for future generations.
Show your support for HB 2893 by contacting your State Delegates. Contact information for Delegates is available at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/house/roster.cfm
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