Advocacy

The Florida Trust, together with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and our preservation partners around the state of Florida, advocates for public policies that benefit historic preservation.

We Accomplish Our Objectives By:
  • Advocating for legislation that preserve the historic and cultural fabric of our nation’s communities
  • Protecting historic and cultural resources from inappropriate legislation, regulatory rulings, or court decisions that hinder preservation
  • Preserving community input in the policy-making process
  • Researching, documenting, and communicating best practices and model preservation policies
  • Alerting preservationists to take action on pressing preservation issues
Tourism Day

We have joined forces with our tourism partners – VISIT FLORIDA, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Florida Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Florida Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, Florida Attractions Association and Florida Association of Museums for the premier legislative event for Florida’s tourism industry. Tourism Day is designed to raise awareness of the importance of tourism and to increase public funding of tourism marketing. As a co-sponsor, we attract preservationists from around the state to advocate the importance and economic impacts of historic preservation grants and program funding.

Financial and Community Impact
  • Historic preservation creates jobs in Florida. More than 123,000 jobs are generated in Florida from historic preservation activities during 2000. The major areas of job creation include the manufacturing sector, retail trade sector, services sector, and construction sector.
  • Historic preservation makes a substantial contribution to tax collections for Florida state and local governments. More than $657 million in state and local taxes were generated from spending on historic preservation activities during 2000.
  • Visitors to Florida spend billions of dollars while visiting historic sites. More than $3.7 billion was spent in Florida by tourists who visited historic sites. The tourists are lured by Florida′s historic sites, historic museums, state parks, and archeological sites. There are more than 1,400 Florida listings in the National Register of Historic Places and more than 135,000 historic structures and archeological sites in the Florida Master Site File of historic sites.
  • Public funds invested in historic preservation grants are matched many times over with private funds in local rehabilitation projects. Since 1983, state historic preservation grants have been awarded to projects in every Florida county, representing 2,751 projects and a state investment of $212.1 million, which the Secretary of State′s office estimates is more than doubled by leveraged public and private funds in these local communities.
  • The Main Street Program creates a greater sense of place in Florida communities. Since the Main Street Program began in Florida in 1985, eighty Florida communities have leveraged a state investment of $4 million into partnerships between private investors and local governments. This investment became a total public/private investment in these communities of $486.5 million (as reported by May, 2002) designated to improve the downtowns of these communities.
  • Historic preservation helps to maintain property values in Florida. In an examination of the assessed values of mainly residential property in eighteen historic districts and twenty-five comparable non-historic districts throughout Florida, there was no case where historic district designation depressed the property values. In fact in at least fifteen cases, property in historic districts appreciated greater than comparable, targeted non-historic districts.

Source: Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation by the Center for Governmental Responsibility, University of Florida Levin College of Law, Center for Urban Policy Research and Rutgers University. Click here to download the full report.

Historic Preservation Equals Jobs

Preservation not only protects what matters to America – it puts Americans to work. Rutgers University has released a comprehensive new report (summary) that analyzes the economic impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit since its inception in 1976. The findings are a major win for historic preservation advocates.

The groundbreaking report concludes that the Federal Historic Tax Credit is a highly-efficient creator of jobs, accounting for the creation of 1.8 million new jobs over the life of the program. The report also finds that the credit has generated jobs more efficiently than other stimulus options and, in fact, the study demonstrates that the economic activity leveraged by credit returns more tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury than the cost of implementing the program.

Key Findings:
  • In inflation-adjusted (2008) dollars, $16.6 billion in Federal Historic Tax Credit expenditures by the Treasury to date have encouraged a five times greater amount of historic rehabilitation ($85 billion).
  • This $85 billion in rehabilitation activity has generated about 1.8 million new jobs (measured in job years) – 58,000 jobs in 2008 alone. These jobs have been concentrated in the construction, manufacturing, service, and retail sectors.
  • Jobs generated by historic rehabilitation require higher skill levels and pay better wages than those generated by new construction.
    About 75% of the Federal Historic Tax Credit’s economic effects are retained in the localities and states where the projects are located.
  • The economic impacts of the Federal Historic Tax Credit are highly targeted to the areas that need it most. Since 2002, National Park Service statistics have indicated that about two-thirds of all Federal Historic Tax Credit projects have been located in Qualified Low-Income Census Tracts.
  • The Federal Historic Tax Credit is a highly-efficient producer of jobs. A division of $16.6 billion in aggregate tax expenditures by the 1,815,000 in jobs generated yields a cost per job of less than $10,000, which compares quite favorably to other forms of economic stimulus.
  • The economic impacts of the Federal Historic Tax Credit are likely understated by the Rutgers study. Left uncounted are the jobs, wages, and taxes generated by the heritage tourism that is attracted by historic sites and districts. Also not factored into this study is the economic impact of the additional rehabilitation work that typically follows the initial investment as confidence in the area’s future rises.
  • The report, the first-ever to examine the economic impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit, also underscores the need for additional legislation to strengthen the federal credits, making them more widely available for smaller, rural projects and also encouraging their use for green and sustainable rehab projects. Enacted by Congress in 1981 as part of an economic stimulus package, the Federal Historic Tax Credit provides a 20% income tax credit for the rehabilitation of certified income-producing historic properties.
Division of Historical Resources, State of Florida

The Florida Trust has a close working partnership with the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, which is the state agency responsible for promoting the historical, archaeological and folk culture resources in Florida.

Preservation – Archaeology – Grants

The Bureau of Historic Preservation preserves historic sites and properties that reflect the diversity of our past. The Bureau of Archaeological Research helps to identify, preserve and interpret the tangible remains of Florida’s cultures. Grants services provides funds to assist in the continued enjoyment of Florida’s historic sites and historical museums.

The Director of the Division of Historical Resources serves as Florida’s State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), providing a liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service.

Florida Historical Commission

The Florida Trust also works closely with the Florida Historical Commission, which was established by the 2001 Florida Legislature to enhance public participation and involvement in the preservation and protection of the state’s historic and archeological sites and properties.

The Commission advises and assists the Division of Historical Resources in carrying out the programs, duties and responsibilities of the Division. Seven members of the Commission are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Secretary of State, two by the President of the Florida Senate and two by the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.