HCF Calls Upon Supporters to Promote Need for Rehabilitation Tax Incentives in 2012 Federal Budget
With the federal government gearing up to present its 2012 budget, the Heritage Canada Foundation calls upon heritage supporters to promote federal funding to help heritage lighthouses and changes to the federal tax system designed to encourage investment in older buildings.
To participate in the government’s online pre-Budget consultation (deadline not yet announced) go to:
Some suggestions for what could be included in responses:
Question #1: Are there measures in the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan that should be revised to better promote job creation and economic growth? Should they be extended? Are there areas where funding should be shifted to meet changed priorities?
- Federal seed money and matching funds for a campaign to raise money for the preservation of Canada’s historic lighthouses, as recommended in the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans’ recent Report on the Implementation of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. All parties supported the passage of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, which came into effect in 2010 to protect Canada’s heritage lighthouses in federal ownership. However, virtually all of Canada’s historic lights (550 – most of them still in use) have since been declared “surplus” by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Now, local groups and communities are under the gun to find the money and the means to maintain these iconic structures.
- Provide renewed funding to Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program. From 2009 - 2011, this program stimulated private sector investment in many of Canada’s most cherished historic places. However even the $8 million invested over the previous two years in this essential program represents only a very small portion of the overall demand. Applications received sought a total of $53 million in federal funding that would have leveraged an impressive $280 million in construction investment.
Question #3: What should Canada’s priorities be for the short and long term to encourage private sector growth and leadership in the economy?
- Ensure that the Canadian tax system encourages the rehabilitation of Canada’s heritage buildings and attracts private investment. Since 1976, the United States Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program has been extremely effective in attracting private investment to the rehabilitation of historic buildings: since 1976 over $55 billion in private investment in historic buildings has been leveraged (with a 5 to 1 ratio of private investment to federal tax credits). Canada’s tax system, by contrast, does not encourage the re-use of older buildings.
Question #4: The global economic recovery is slowing. While Canada is still doing better than most, we are still vulnerable to shocks from beyond our borders. Are there measures we can take to protect our economic recovery in the face of international events?
- Ensure that the Canadian tax system encourages the rehabilitation of Canada’s heritage buildings and stimulates labour intensive activities whose economic impact stays in Canada. Studies have consistently demonstrated that rehabilitation generates upwards of 20% more jobs than the same investment in new construction.
For more information contact Natalie Bull, Executive Director at HCF at email@example.com
or tel. 613-237-1066 ext 222 or toll free at 1-866-964-1066.
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