Pennsylvania Downtown Center A service of
August 15, 2013
URGENT ACTION ALERT
Urge Senators Robert P. Casey Jr. & Pat Toomey to support the Historic Downtown Preservation and Access Act (s. 1421)
Proposed Federal Legislation Could Assist Downtowns With Fire Prevention & Accessibility Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has introduced legislation in the 113th Congress that could assist downtown property owners with two of the biggest obstacles to revitalizing downtown buildings – installing sprinkler systems and elevators. Sen. Leahy’s bill is entitled the Historic Downtown Preservation and Access Act (S.1421). Under the proposed legislation, a property owner who installs either an elevator or a sprinkler system that complies with National Fire Protection Association 13: Section for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, would be eligible for a 50% tax credit, not to exceed $50,000. In introducing the legislation on August 9th, Senator Leahy said that each year fire destroys hundreds of vulnerable historic buildings across the country that serve to anchor downtown business districts. He indicated that the upfront investment he is proposing would help prevent the loss of life, reduce property damage and decrease federal expenditures on rebuilding after fires. Senator Leahy then discussed a series of devastating fires that have occurred in Vermont business districts over the last four years. Pennsylvania has seen its share of similarly destructive fires. Recent years conflagrations in Bellefonte, Clearfield , Mount Joy, Shenandoah and Philipsburg, to name just a few, have destroyed numerous historically significant buildings. Meanwhile the proposed legislation’s allowance for tax credits to install elevators would help overcome a major hurdle to the revitalization of many upper floors for either residential or office use. We at PDC believe that this could be one of the most significant pieces of federal legislation that we have seen in recent years. We will soon begin a concerted advocacy effort to gain the support of Senators Casey and Toomey, as well as Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation. In addition we will pass this legislation on to our friends in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to see if we might be able to generate interest in companion legislation here in the Keystone State. We will keep you informed. Read the entire bill by clicking here.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION!
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