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Study Highlights Benefits of Historic Preservation

A new study from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will give historic preservation advocates evidence in real numbers of the economic benefits to be gained from such investments, according to Howard Pollman, spokesperson for the commission.

Federal resources coming into the state through the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit have stimulated considerable private investment, resulting in $7 billion in project expenditures from 1978 to 2010 and a total economic impact of $17.1 billion. Jobs supported number 148,000, and state tax revenues amount to $380 million.

Historic designation is shown to increase property values, which Pollman says is especially important in the current real estate market and adds economic development to the traditional aesthetic and cultural benefits of historic preservation.

According to the study, heritage tourism attracts 32 million visitors a year, who spend a billion dollars, supporting 37,000 jobs and generating $90 million in state tax revenues.

The report projects that adding a state-level tax credit would add significant economic benefits.