Letter: Tax credit preserves our heritage

There’s one tax credit that is building a better Louisiana. Literally.

Louisiana has a deep and rich past that spans many centuries and part of that story is told through our buildings. From the French Quarter of New Orleans all the way to Main Street in Crowley, our people have a deep history. A history that we must help protect and restore.

In 2002, the Legislature passed the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit which has helped save many of our greatest assets. It has also produced $3.22 revenue for every $1 invested. Over 11,000 construction jobs and over 5,700 permanent jobs have been created by this tax credit. These are just some of the numbers that Louisiana economist Timothy Ryan laid out in a recent study showing how successful the HRTC has been over the past decade.

But, we view this tax credit as a catalyst for breathing new life into downtowns, abandoned Main streeta, and historic sites across Louisiana. There’s a wonderful Louisiana story told building by building and house by house. People from all over the world come to hear it every year.

This is why I am urging my friends, colleagues and the Greater Baton Rouge area legislative delegation to support SB 208 by Sen. Neil Riser and HB 630 by Rep. Walt Leger. This legislation will keep a successful tax credit in place and expand our ability to preserve some of the state’s greatest treasures while creating jobs for our citizens.

Steve Maher

Architect and AIA Louisiana legislative chairman

Baton Rouge