State Historic Tax Credit legislation passes, extending a powerful tool for economic development

The Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans applauds the passage of HB 483, which extends and expands Louisiana’s Commercial Rehabilitation Tax Credit (also known as the State Historic Tax Credit). The bill, introduced by Rep. Tanner Magee, passed both chambers of the state legislature without a negative vote. In addition to extending the credit through 2028, HB 483 expands eligibility to properties on the National Register of Historic Places even when not located in a Cultural District or Downtown Development District and increases the incentive for rural projects.

A friendly amendment by Sen. Mike Reese increased the credit to 25 percent in most cities and 35 percent in rural areas. This increase will help offset rising construction and labor costs and reignite redevelopment project that stalled when the state credit was reduced from 25 percent to 20 percent in 2017.

The legislation received thoughtful discussion in both House and Senate committees, at which point PRC joined our statewide partners, preservation developers and representatives of the construction industry to explain the program’s many benefits, including:

  • In the past 20 years, the State Historic Tax Credit program helped rehabilitate more than 1,600 commercial properties in 31 parishes and 42 cities or towns.
  • Property owners invested more than $4.5 billion in credit-eligible repairs and an additional $1.6 billion in related improvements for a total investment of $6.2 billion in Louisiana’s historic places.
  • In addition to thousands of jobs, that investment generated millions annually in sales, employment and property taxes, making the program revenue-positive for Louisiana.

Special thanks to our partners in the Louisiana State Historic Tax Credit Coalition and to Cornerstone Government Affairs. PRC encourages Gov. John Bel Edwards, who supported the credit in 2020, to do so again by signing HB 483, bringing the power of preservation to more communities across Louisiana.

Nathan Lott is PRC’s Policy Research Director and Advocacy Coordinator.