Op-Ed: Reintroduce California's Historic Restoration Tax Credit
On September 29, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed AB 1999, legislation that would have provided state credits to historic preservation projects.
He cited a federal rehabilitation tax credit and lost tax revenue as reasons for his veto, writes Jerry Holan, a Fulbright scholar, author, and Bay Area preservation architect.
However Holan says she hopes that Toni Atkins, speaker of the assembly and author of the bill, brings it back. Holan cites seven benefits of the tax credit:
- provide new employment and construction opportunities,
- increase property values,
- generate more sales tax,
- stimulate heritage tourism,
- reduce building decay,
- create more affordable housing, and
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the greenest building is one that’s already built.
AB 1999 was a small step in the right direction. California needs better policy and an Economic Development and Historic Tax Credit would have helped. The Governor needs to be reminded that we not only need good public transportation, we also need smart construction. In fact, rehabilitation is much smarter than fast trains: the buildings are already built.
And please tell Toni Atkins to resubmit AB 1999 again next year – it’s a Bill whose time has come.