What have you done for us lately? That’s the question members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are asking President Donald Trump? Citing the Trump Administrations “doing nothing to advance the CBC’s priorities” members of the CBC have turned down an invitation to meet with Trump. What is the CBC’s priority? Giving local school districts access to “historic tax credits” in the form of H.B. 922.
In 1986, Republican President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker “Tip” O’Neill (D-Mass.) put aside differences to enact the “federal rehabilitation tax credit” law. America’s decrepit building infrastructure threatened our future. But it took private capital to help fix.
Related: Why Trump should support CBC priority
The credits – equaling up to 26 percent of the qualifying modernization costs – could be earned on any building modernization project preserving the structure’s valuable federally recognized historic qualities. This ‘historic tax credit” financing spawned over 40,000 projects.
The Trump DC Hotel – a renovation of the Old DC Post office building – is one. But buried elsewhere in the IRS Code is that aforementioned governmental glitch known as the “prior use” rule. It perversely denies these vital credits for local school modernization projects. Like the Old DC Post Office, many local K-12 facilities are government-owned, originally constructed with public funds and deemed federally historic. But whereas the Trump Hotel project created a new use, a local school project self-evidentially keeps the same use. The “prior use” bureaucratize bars credits when the post-modernization use doesn’t change.
Most media is focusing on the members being “put off” with Omarosa Manigault, Director of Public Communications, signing her name “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” when in actuality, the CBC is cool on another photo-op that won’t yield a single dollar for poor children attending dilapidated schools nationwide.
Welcome to Trumpland.