Who is Creating Jobs in Florida?

A recent post on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website is entitled “Who is Creating Jobs in America?” Directed at the proposed elimination of the Save America’s Treasures Grant fund, the article provides a state by state breakdown of how the fund compares in job creation to the stimulus plan. Of great interest are the numbers for Florida that show that the grant fund creates jobs for a fraction of the cost:
  • $ From Stimulus Plan: $9,040,756,932
  • Jobs From Stimulus Plan: 34,887
  • $/Job: $259,144
  • $ From Save America’s Treasures (SAT): $5,084,318
  • Matching Funds: $7,481,293
  • Total Project Cost: $12,565,611
  • Jobs From SAT: 270
  • SAT $/Job: $18,815
To see the whole article and the parameters used to generate the costs, see http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/community-revitalization/jobs/.

 

 

Rutgers Report Illustrates Historic Tax Credits’ Ability to Create Jobs, Stimulate Economy

NEWS RELEASE from the National Trust for Historic Preservation & Rutgers University:


Washington, D.C. (March 3, 2010) – A comprehensive new report conducted by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, analyzes the economic impact of the federal Historic Tax Credit since its inception in 1976 and concludes that the Historic Tax Credit is a highly efficient job creator—accounting for the creation of 1.8 million new jobs over the life of the program. The report found that Historic Tax Credits generated those jobs more efficiently than other stimulus options and, in fact, the study concludes that the economic activity leveraged by Historic Tax Credit returns more tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury than the cost of implementing the program. The report, the first-ever to examine the economic impact of the 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.

The report was conducted by researchers at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and commissioned by the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, a public policy advocacy organization.

Major findings of the report include:
• The Historic Tax Credit is an efficient job creator— rehabilitation investments have generated about 1.8 million new jobs since 1976 and 58.8 thousand in 2008 alone. The Rutgers study shows that historic rehab projects require more highly skilled workers, generate better-paying jobs and return more economic benefits to local communities than other stimulus strategies such as highway construction. For example, a job created by Historic Tax Credits costs approximately $9,000, whereas the average cost of creating a job through the federal stimulus package is about $248,000.
• The cumulative impacts to the national economy are substantial, including $198 billion in total output, $98 billion towards Gross Domestic Product (GDP), $72 billion in wages and salaries, and $29 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
• The federal Historic Tax Credit is a strategic investment for the nation, evidenced by the fact that the total federal cost of the HTC, $16.6 billion in 2008 inflation-adjusted dollars, is more than offset by the $21 billion in additional federal taxes paid as a result of HTC project activity to date. In addition, the $16.6 billion investment has leveraged a five times greater amount of historic rehabilitation costs—a total of $85 billion.

While underscoring the success of the Historic Tax Credit program, the report suggests several improvements to modernize the program and ensure its continued efficacy—all of which are included in the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act now before Congress. The legislation, introduced in the House by Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) and in the Senate by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), seeks to amend the Historic Tax Credit to facilitate smaller, Main Street-scale investments, providing incentives for the kind of sustainable rehab projects that make historic buildings more energy-efficient, and expanding the number of properties that would be eligible to earn these federal tax credits.

“This report makes clear that historic preservation is not just about holding on to our past, it’s also about building a better future by creating jobs, spurring revitalization and improving the economic health of the nation,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “By encouraging the restoration and rehabilitation of older and historic buildings, historic tax credits are one of the best investments government can make—a key consideration in lean budget years. This report should invigorate Congress to pass the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act and strengthen the federal historic tax credit program.”

“This report shows that the economic impacts of historic rehab are aligned with many of our nation’s most important needs during these tough times,” said John Leith-Tetrault, President of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition. “Rutgers’ research makes the case for enhancements to federal historic tax credit as an important part of any Congressional stimulus package. Given how difficult it is for our industry to finance rehabilitation projects right now, the timing for these amendments couldn’t better.”

The report was produced by the Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research under the guidance of Dr. David Listokin, a national expert in the economics of historic preservation.“This report reflects a 15-year effort on the part of Rutgers, working with the
National Park Service and numerous state historic preservation offices, to quantify the specific economic impacts of historic preservation,” said Dr. Listokin. “Using detailed models, we looked at both the direct, immediate economic impact—at both the state and national level—of historic preservation projects, as well as the secondary effects those projects have on the national and state economies. Our report, which builds on the regional economic analysis conducted by Dr. Michael Lahr, a professor at Rutgers University, clearly shows that historic preservation is a powerful tool for economic revitalization and job creation.”


A copy of the report is available at http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/reports/HTCeconimpact.pdf.

Historic Preservation is “the weakest kid on the block”

A thought-provoking post by historic preservation economist Donovan Rypkema entitled, appropriately, “A Time For Reflection” discusses the proposed funding cuts to two federal preservation funding programs: Save America’s Treasures (SAT) and Preserve America. His post calls for preservationists to rethink the way we’ve been presenting our case for preservation, since clearly the positive impacts (economic redevelopment, jobs creation, sustainable development, downtown revitalization, etc.) have not become widely known enough to Americans and to our elected officials. Otherwise they would not be labeled as programs whose “benefits are unclear” and easy targets for cutting, particularly in an era where jobs creation is so important. It is critical that we explain how preservation fits in to the revitalization of businesses and communities to elected officials in order to eliminate these types of short-sighted cuts seen as “easy” to pacify those who complain about federal spending.

According to the Rypeka post: This announcement had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the federal deficit. The rounding errors in the budgeting process are ten times greater than the annual amount spent on these two programs combined. Here’s the analogy. You have a household income of $80,000 per year, but decide “We need to cut back.” So what do you do? Eliminate $0.04 from your monthly expenditures. That’s right…four cents a month of an $80,000 a year income is the equivalent of these cuts.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation discusses some of the reasons the SAT program is effective including: Save America’s Treasures stands out as a model of efficiency and effective spending. You see, every grant recipient under this program is required to find a dollar-for-dollar, non-federal match. To date, Save America’s Treasures at the National Trust has raised almost $57 million in non-federal and private matching funds. As a result, Save America’s Treasures has been enormously successful in leveraging private-sector financing and creating  productive and sustained partnerships with large corporations, foundations, and individuals that provide matching contributions.”

Historic Preservation Advocacy Week is the first week of March. While you may not be able to go to Washington to speak to your representative, it is a good time to visit local officials, or write letters and make phone calls to explain why you historic preservation is important to your community and to your country, both in terms of economic sense and quality of life. For some talking points, see these reports by Preservation Action, or contact TPI. Or submit the online form regarding this issue on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.

Historic Preservation Creates Jobs

Historic preservation creates jobs. And not only creates jobs, but creates more jobs than new construction. These jobs are higher skilled jobs that pay better. And the jobs are local and can’t be outsourced as well. 
When you build new, you assemble a myriad of components that were built with labor completed in factories throughout the world, reducing the amount of labor that has to take place on site. And because it takes less skill for a worker to install these pre-made pieces, such a window, the local jobs tend to be lower paid than an equal cost historic preservation renovation/ restoration project generates. 
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation website, the reuse of older and historic buildings itself is a powerful tool for job creation and employment retention. Rehabilitation generally uses about 20 percent more labor and, in turn, produces a greater number of jobs than new construction. As compared to new construction, every $1 million spent to rehabilitate a building results in:

      • $120,000 more dollars initially remaining in the community;
      • Five to nine more construction jobs created;
      • An average of 4.7 more new permanent jobs created;
      • Household incomes in the community increasing by $107 more than through new construction;
      • Retail sales in the community increasing by $142,000 – $34,000 more than through new construction; and
      • Real estate companies, lending institutions, service vendors, and restaurants receiving more direct monetary benefits.”

All this goes to show that preservation doesn’t cost–it pays.

TPI Preservation Awards 2010 Applications

Applications for the Tampa Preservation, Inc. 2010 Preservation Awards are now available online. Since 1982, Tampa Preservation, Inc. has been recognizing significant contributions to the preservation of Tampa Bay area historic resources through its annual awards program. Deadline for application submittals is March 5, 2010. The winning projects will be applauded at the Tampa Preservation, Inc. awards ceremony on May.

Applications in the Restoration/ Rehabilitation category can be made for both residential and commercial rehabilitation of buildings built in or before 1959. Projects will be judged based on compliance with The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Preference is given to exterior restoration projects that exemplify Tampa Bay’s cultural, historical, and architectural heritage that retain significant architectural features. Although nominated buildings need not be renovated to “museum quality,” review will be based on the overall quality of the renovation taking into consideration that a building may be adapted for modern life while remaining true to its architectural style. Review will consider not only the building but also the site, including outbuildings, fencing, paving materials and landscaping. Winners in this category are given a banner to display on their building as well as a certificate suitable for framing.

Individual and community groups can also be nominated for their preservation efforts as well. The Individual Achievement Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the preservation of historical resources by an individual and the Organizational Award recognizes outstanding achievement in preservation activities by a group, business, neighborhood or other organization in Tampa and Hillsborough County. The awards are based on outstanding achievement for a significant project or for a lengthy period of dedication to preservation activities. Nominations in both categories may be submitted without the knowledge of the nominee.

Educational Programs or Projects can also be nominated, including books, brochures or other publications; video-programs; and educational training programs for a general audience or targeted audience (i.e.: school children or teachers).The award nomination will be evaluated based on the impact of the program on the intended audience and the quality of the project.