Recently released research commissioned by Maine Preservation in partnership with CEI, Greater Portland Landmarks, GrowSmart Maine, and Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) shows that Maine’s historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) has had strong, far-reaching impacts on Maine’s economy and quality of life while more than paying for itself. The “Maine Historic Tax Credit Economic Impacts Report,” authored by Charles Lawton and Frank O’Hara, leading Maine-based economists, illuminates that HTC-aided renovations have added over $166 million to local property tax rolls in host communities, including $17 million in new property tax revenue since 2010. The HTC program has become a major local development tool in its own right with an another $19 million in new income and sales tax revenues are estimated to have come into state coffers since 2008. To date, the program has generated $3 million more in state and local tax revenues than it has cost in tax credits and it is estimated that the net economic benefit to Maine state and local governments will double to at least $6 million annually by 2022.
The data reveals that the HTC has generated $525 million in construction investment; rehabilitating 3.6 million square feet of commercial and residential space; and created or preserved 1,911 housing units, of which nearly 1,300 are affordable. The construction spending alone has generated 200-700 full-time-equivalent jobs annually for the past decade. Additionally, nearly 700 new full-time, year-round jobs have been generated by businesses occupying commercial spaces and in building maintenance, generating $13 million per year in ongoing income to families living in these communities. For insight into how local communities benefit from this program, please see the case studies in the report.