Letters: Tax credit vital to region

Under the recent tax reform legislation in the U.S. Congress, the federal Historic Tax Credit is at risk. However, thanks to an amendment introduced by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, the tax credit was restored and adopted in full by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Under Cassidy’s amendment, qualifying projects can receive a 20 percent tax credit for all qualifying expenses, claimed over a five-year period.

Cassidy’s hard work in restoring the tax credit is vital to our regional and state economy. During the past 40 years, the tax credit has been responsible spurring over 600 rebuilding projects in New Orleans alone. Furthermore, in 2015 the tax credit helped to support over 4,600 jobs in our state. In fact, of the 86,000 jobs that were supported nationally by the tax credit in 2015, more than 5 percent were in Louisiana.

A reduction or elimination of the historic tax credit would make it economically unviable to restore many historic properties that are the fabric of our city. They would just sit or be converted to storage. We commend Cassidy for his leadership on this issue, and we urge the full preservation of this historic tax credit as Congress continues its work on tax reform.

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