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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Trust

HB 247 Promises a Preservation Tool to Protect Florida’s Historic Places

Florida Trust CEO Melissa Wyllie reviews HB 247 with Representative Salzman in her office in the Florida Capitol.

This year, the Florida Trust continues work to provide Florida with a state historic tax credit, a proven tax incentive for revitalizing historic places and supporting economic development.

If legislation providing a state tax credit passes, Florida would join 39 other states in providing this important incentive to rehabilitate historic buildings, encourage private investment and grow local economies. Further, research has shown a state historic tax credit increases the amount of federal investment in rehabilitation.

HB 247 introduces the Main Street Tourism and Historic Revitalization Act. The legislation would create a Florida historic tax credit, help revitalize Florida Main Street communities, support heritage tourism, create good paying jobs and bring vacant and underused historic buildings back to life. 

The Florida Tax Credit would provide a tax credit of up to 20 percent of total eligible costs for rehabilitation of a certified historic structure and a tax credit of up to 30 percent of total eligible costs for rehabilitation of a certified historic structure that is physically located within the official district boundaries of an active, certified Florida Main Street community.

The state tax credit would be paired with applications to the Florida State Division of Historical Resources for the Federal Historic Tax Credit. The federal credit is 20 percent applied to qualified rehabilitation costs for certified historic structures. At the federal level, the credit has been proven to generate new economic activity by leveraging private dollars — $173 billion since inception — to preserve historic buildings and create jobs. Through 2020, the rehabilitation of 46,000 historic buildings has created more than 2.8 million jobs. The Historic Tax Credit represents the largest federal investment specifically supporting historic preservation.

Legislative Process and Advocacy
In October Representative Salzman, Pensacola, filed the bill in the House.

October 11, 2021, was a historic day for the Florida Main Street Tourism and Historic Revitalization Act in the Florida Legislature as House Bill 247 was filed by Representative Michelle Salzman, Pensacola.

The legislation has been referred to three committees in the Florida House beginning with the House Tourism, Infrastructure and Energy Subcommittee. These are the members of that Committee.

Currently there are several Senators considering filing the needed Senate companion bill to House Bill 247. Senator Ed Hooper, Clearwater, has put in a draft in that chamber and Senators Broxson, Gruters and Rodriguez are all considering filing a Senate companion in the upcoming weeks.

If you would like to help support the Florida Historic Tax Credit there are two immediate actions you can take:

1. Call or email your state representative and ask them to sign on to Rep. Salzman's House Bill 247 as a cosponsor. As we continue our advocacy efforts we will be seeking bipartisan support through cosponsors. You can locate your state representative here. Because we want every House member’s support don't feel limited to contacting just your representative, please contact any House member you may know and ask them to sign on as a cosponsor House Bill 247.

2. Reach out to any member of the House Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Committee and ask them to support House Bill 247. It could be heard in this committee and voted on very soon.

Stay tuned! We will keep you posted on advocacy efforts as the bill continues to go through the legislative process. The 2022 Florida Legislative Session begins on January 11, 2022.

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