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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Trust

Week 7: Continuing Preservation Grant Advocacy



The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation was busy again during the seventh week of the Florida Legislative Session. Not only was it a busy week at the Capitol for the Florida Trust as it engaged with legislators and spoke at committee hearings. We are also hard at work in our role as statewide coordinators for the Preservation Action Conference in DC the first week of March, so we are preparing our team and setting interviews for our time in the nation’s capital. 


Seeking Full Funding of Florida's Historic Preservation Grants



As we enter into the later part of Session, it is vitally important that we support full funding for the FY25 Historic Preservation Grants.


Florida's Division of Historical Resources Historic Preservation Grant program is crucial in safeguarding our historic sites, fostering community resilience and bolstering local economies - and we are asking lawmakers to fully fund all projects on this year's grant list: 36 projects with a price tag of nearly $9.6 million.


Funds for the grants have been included in the Senate budget, but not the House. It is imperative to secure funding in the House to ensure these historic resources receive much-needed financial assistance. Contact your lawmaker today!


These grants are instrumental in supporting significant local, regional and statewide initiatives aimed at preserving historic and archaeological treasures, aiding major archaeological research endeavors and facilitating the development of noteworthy museum exhibits that illuminate Florida's rich history. Learn more.


The Florida Trust would like to thank The Coalition for Florida's Historic Places for their continued support and advocacy for the fulfillment of the Special Category Grant List. 



 

Preservation Advocacy in Washington, D.C.


Today is the last day to register Preservation Action's Advocacy Week, March 4-7, in Washington, D.C.


Join us to meet with federal legislators and help us advocate for the crucial programs and policies that preserve our nation's historic resources! We advocate for:


Let us know if you'd like to join the advocacy team!



Creating a Historic Tax Credit in Florida


The House of Representatives at the Capitol.

This week, we continued advocating for the value and importance of creating a state historic tax credit in Florida.


As a reminder, Senate Bill 1166 and House Bill 1183 introduce the Main Street Act, which would establish a state tax credit to revitalize Florida Main Street communities, promote heritage tourism, generate well-paying jobs and revive vacant or underused historic structures. The proposed credit would cover up to 20 percent of eligible costs for renovating a certified historic structure and a 30 percent tax credit for eligible costs within the official boundaries on an active, certified Florida Main Street community. Both credits would be in addition to the federal historic tax credit. Learn more.


Please reach out to your local lawmakers, or any lawmakers you have a relationship with and encourage them to support the Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act (SB 1166, HB 1183).


Protecting Florida's Coastal History



Both Senate Bill 1526, sponsored by Senator Bryan Avila, and its companion House Bill 1647, sponsored by Representative Spencer Roach which introduce the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act, have now passed favorably through all their committees and are headed to the Senate and House floors.


Thanks to the efforts of historic preservation advocates, Senate Bill 1526, introduced by Senator Bryan Avila, was amended in the weeks prior to exempt contributing resources in National Register of Historic Places Districts. Despite the amendment, concerns remain.


“On behalf of our membership and preservationists from around the state I wanted to thank Representative Roach for his and his staff’s time working on this bill with us, and for his efforts to balance the intention to secure safety for our communities while also protecting the historic places that make our communities unique and special,” said Florida Trust CEO & President Melissa Wyllie. “However, as currently drafted, this bill could still allow the demolition of many locally and nationally designated historic buildings without an opportunity for local conversations around historic and community value.”


In the weeks ahead the Florida Trust will continue to work with the sponsors and stakeholders to ensure all voices are heard.


Stay tuned for updates on our advocacy efforts as the bill progresses through the legislative process. Don't forget to sign up for our advocacy newsletter to receive weekly briefings during Session!

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