|Trump Hotel, Washington D.C. |
Photo Credit: cisko66 Wikimedia
Established in 1976, the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program is designed to preserve and restore historic buildings that have fallen into disrepair.
To be eligible for tax credits, the buildings must be income-producing, so if you want to restore your historic home don't expect a tax credit. But if a billionaire developer or the owner of a major league baseball stadium wants to restore an old building or stadium, they get the credit. Who pays for that? The federal taxpayers, that's who. Since its inception in 1976 the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program has generated more than $73 billion in restoring luxury resorts, hotels, movie theaters and baseball stadiums. Yes, the new Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. and Boston's Fenway Park both received tax credits at the expense of taxpayers. We don't get free or discounted admission to see the Red Sox play. We don't get discounted room rates to stay at the Trump Hotel.
There are a lot of good points for restoration; jobs are created, property values in the area go up and tourists bring in revenue for the community. My opinion is, the burden for the cost of restoration should be at the state level, not federal, and the Department of the Interior could be more selective in their decision making.
The cost to taxpayers is ongoing and never ending. Here are just a few:
- Trump Organization, Washington, D.C. hotel - $40 million
- Fenway Park, Boston, Mass. baseball stadium - $40 million
- Hill Building, Durham, N.C. hotel - $7.9 million
Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, Technical Preservation Services