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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Trust

Week Six Brings Reinforced Advocacy

Only three weeks left of Florida's Legislative Session and we have a few updates to share!


Florida Citrus Labels used between 1880s-1960s in the Florida Capitol
 

Creating a State Historic Tax Credit


House Bill 499, The Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act, is still currently awaiting action in the House Ways & Means Committee. Its companion bill SB 288, has been reported favorable by both the Senate Commerce and Tourism and Finance and Tax Committee. It will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.


Please reach out to your local lawmakers, or any you may know, and encourage them to support this bill. The more interest and support it receives from other lawmakers, the more likely it is for a State Historic Tax Credit to be passed. You can find your lawmakers here.

 

Florida Tax Credit Alliance


The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation seeks to support historic preservation in communities throughout the state in a way that is scalable, supports communities and protects our invaluable historic assets. Our state has a challenge in accomplishing this work. Currently, Florida is the only state among our neighbors without a state historic tax credit.  We want to incentivize preservation-friendly restoration and rehabilitation projects – especially in our Main Streets and underserved rural corridor – and we need your help making that possible.


The Florida Historic Tax Credit Alliance consists of key leaders that help to make a statewide tax credit in Florida a reality. We invite you to join us in this alliance, made up of varying industries, but all with a common goal to preserve our state’s historic resources by making these restoration and preservation projects more accessible within our communities.


We are looking for new members of this alliance to help make a Florida Historic Tax Credit possible. We have set apart three distinguished professional membership levels of $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000 to help support our advocacy efforts in 2023 and into the future.

We hope you will join us in the work ahead – creating a state historic tax credit in Florida and working to protect our history.


Your membership is so important to our work. We recognize your membership with a thoughtful and intentional array of benefits and privileges, including:


  • Discounted advertising rates in Florida Trust publications

  • Invitations to all Florida Trust events and programs, including the Florida Preservation Conference, events and educational workshops

  • A featured story on your business in the Florida Preservationist Magazine

  • Listing in Florida Preservation Partners online business directory

  • Subscription to the monthly e-newsletter

  • Subscription to our bi-annual Florida Preservationist Magazine

All of the above amenities, in addition to:

  • Special membership discounts at Florida Trust events

  • Updates on legislative action that affects historic preservation in Florida as it is taking place

  • Invitation to exclusive Special Legislative Reception and related events

All of the above amenities, in addition to:

  • Opportunity for special logo inclusion on legislative update emails and correspondence


By starting a membership with the Florida Trust at any of the above levels, you join our Florida Historic Tax Credit Alliance. Those who would like to take the next step in creating, protecting and demonstrating the value of a historic tax credit in Florida may want to consider joining our Alliance Leadership Team. Members of this group set and execute advocate strategy. The leadership team supports the Florida Trust (at the $2,000 or above level – Heritage, Sustaining or Pinnacle) and also financially supports with political donations.

 

FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant List


Check out our FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant booklet and explore the 33 statewide projects requesting grant funding.

Monticello Opera House; Ranked first on the FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant list.

The Florida Division of Historic Resources Historic Preservation Grant Program provides funding to preserve significant historic and archaeological resources, assist major archaeological excavations or research projects, and assist in the development and fabrication of major museum exhibits that will promote knowledge and appreciation of the history of Florida.




Showing your support for Florida's historic places is easy! Simply reach out to your representatives and share with them how important providing for Florida's history is to you.

  1. Call or email your state representative and senator. Find their contact information here.

  2. If you'd like, copy and paste the preservation grant messaging and ask below.

Click here to view the preservation grant messaging and ask to send your state representative

Florida's historic preservation grant program gives Florida's historic places a future. I am asking you to please support historic places in your community, and statewide, by fully funding the FY2024 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant list. Over 137 years ago, a Resilient Little Red Schoolhouse was the first oasis of education in southeast Florida and needs help in preserving its educational legacy. A 132-year-old Opera House in Monticello needs structural support to stay standing. Both of these places are on the FY2024 Special Category Historic Preservation Grant list, which, if funded, could provide a future for 33 important pieces of Florida's unique history. Last year, the FY2023 Special Category Historic Preservation Grant list was fully funded and many important pieces of Florida's unique history were finally prioritized and protected. This year, we are asking that funding continues to assist in reviving Florida's most vulnerable places. ​The Florida Division of Historical Resources Historic Preservation Grant program is one of the most significant ways the state protects our irreplaceable historic places, strengthens communities and supports local economies. The purpose of these grants is to provide funding to assist major local, regional and statewide efforts to preserve significant historic and archaeological resources, to assist major archaeological excavations or research projects, and assist in the development and fabrication of major museum exhibits that will promote knowledge and appreciation of the history of Florida. The Florida Historical Commission reviews and ranks Special Category grants to create the annual list, which is then approved by the Florida Secretary of State before being sent to the legislature to determine funding. ​This year, fully fund the Historic Preservation Special Category Grant list, and give Florida's historic places a future.

 

Protect Florida's Abandoned Cemeteries


Senate Bill 430, Abandoned and Historic Cemeteries, is on the Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development agenda! The committee meeting is set to meet on Tuesday, April 18 at 8:30AM in 110 Senate Building. Please reach out to any member of the committee and share with them the importance of this legislation.


It's companion bill, House Bill 49, moved favorably through its third committee hearing in the State Affairs Committee. The bill is currently waiting to be placed on the Special Order Calendar and receive its Second Reading. It is paramount that HB 49 is given its Second Reading prior to April 30. Per Rule 10.18, after the 55th day of a regular session, no House bills on second reading may be taken up and considered by the House. Please urge the Rules and Policy Committee to send House Bill 49 to the House floor for its Second Reading!


 

Local Regulation of Nonconforming or Unsafe Structures


There are two primary concerns with House Bill 1317 and Senate Bill 1346, the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act. First, the bill prohibits demolition review of certain historic structures. Second, the legislation restricts communities' ability to provide feedback on new structures built to replace those demolished. Read more about our concerns, and what you can do to help in our Advocacy Call to Action: Florida Resilience with Historic Places blog post.

 

House Bill 1317, the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act, will be voted on by the House Commerce Committee on Monday, April 17 at 2:00PM in Webster Hall (212 Knott). We urge you to contact the committee members and share your concerns about the impact of this proposed legislation for communities around the state. Find a list of the Commerce Committee members here.


On Tuesday, April 4, Senate Bill 1346, passed its second committee at the Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources. Senator Avila proposed a strike-all amendment that expands the legislation to reach many more flood zones, which increases the potential negative impact on our coastal historic communities. The bill, as amended by the strike-all, was passed unanimously. It is currently waiting action in the Rules committee. Share your concerns with your elected official, find your state representative and senator's contact information here.

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