December 2010


Today, the New Jersey Senate Budget Committee passed the historic rehabilitation tax credit bill, the Historic Property Reinvestment Act (HPRA) and sent it to the full Senate for a final vote.  Senate prime sponsor Sen. Barbara Buono (Metuchen) spoke passionately and at length about the importance of preserving heritage and unique and historic places as the Committee began consideration of the legislation.  Questions from committee members about the job creation and fiscal impacts of the proposed financial incentive were fielded by speakers Hon, Mary-Anna Holden, Mayor of Madison, NJ and Preservation New Jersey President; Walter Gallas, Northeast Field Office Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Trenton real estate developer David Henderson of HHG Development; and PNJ Executive Director Ron Emrich.

The 9 – 1 affirmative vote came with support from members of both parties.  The final hurdle for HPRA is a full Senate vote, probably in mid-January, plus a pro forma correcting vote in the Assembly.  The signature of Gov. Chris Christie would enact the long-awaited bill.

Moments ago the Senate Committee on State Government, Tourism, Gaming & Historic Preservation passed the historic tax credit bill, S659.  It now moves to consideration by the Senate Budget Committee, which we hope will occur soon – perhaps as soon as next week.  Our thanks to prime sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Barbara Buono, for her leadership in moving the bill ahead.

Please call your Senators to indicate your support for HPRA.

Momentum continues to build for HPRA, the proposed New Jersey state historic rehabilitation tax credit recently passed by the NJ Assembly (see previous post).  Sen. Barbara Buono, our prime sponsor in the Senate, has successfully gotten the bill – S659 – posted on the first relevant Senate committee’s agenda.

State Government, Tourism, Gaming & Historic Preservation Committee
Thurs., Dec. 9, 1:00 p.m.
Statehouse Annex, Committee Room 6, 1st floor (NB:  room assignments are subject to last minute changes)

Three of the five committee members are already co-sponsors (Sens. Shirley Turner (D-Trenton), Robert Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) and Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton).  Please consider making phone calls to chairman Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic City) and Sen. Thomas Goodwin (R-Hamilton Twsp.) to urge their affirmative vote.  Examples of potential projects that would benefit from the tax credit, and the jobs and economic activity that they would generate, continue to be powerful persuaders.  Personal testimony at the hearing, or letters of support addressed to the Committee chair, Sen. Whalen, are also needed.

Be aware that, again this year, the fiscal statement (the OLS estimate of what the proposed program would “cost”) is both negative and incorrect.  OLS refuses to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence from studies in many of the 31 states that already have tax credit programs showing as much as 8:1 return on investment to state treasuries.

You can find accurate fiscal impact information, detailed description of HPRA, links to the bills, reports on economic impacts as measured in 31 states having a similar credit, links to sponsors’ web pages, etc. at
http://www.preservationnj.org/site/ExpEng/index.php?/PNJSite/hpi_act

Please let us know of any feedback/response to calls or other outreach.

Meanwhile, we’re looking for an op-ed in the Star Ledger soon from National Trust President Stephanie Meek.

We’ll be blogging status updates right here.