The Missing Key: A Study of the Impact and Potential of the Pennsylvania State Historic Tax Credit

Pennsylvania is a state of history. With a diversity of heritage resources, there is virtually no limit to the economic development potential—but only if these resources are appropriately maximized. The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit (PA-HPTC) program was established by state legislative action in 2012 and has since helped rehabilitate irreplaceable historic buildings across Pennsylvania. As with any public incentive program, it is appropriate to review the program, analyze its impact, and consider potential improvements. With the PA-HPTC set to expire in 2020, such an assessment is timely. This study examined the impacts and effectiveness of historic tax credit projects that utilized the PA-HPTC, the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, or both. This study also compares the PA-HPTC to other states with more effective state historic tax credit programs, providing a data-driven analysis of the potential impacts of an improved PA-HPTC.

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