What we do to advocate for Florida history and heritage:

  • We advocate for legislation that preserves the historic and cultural fabric of communities
  • Lobby for state and national funding for historic preservation projects and initiatives 
  • Protect historic and cultural resources from inappropriate legislation, regulatory rulings, or court decisions that hinder preservation
  • Preserve community input in the policy-making process
  • Research, document and communicate best practices and model preservation policies
  • Mobilize our preservation network to take action on pressing preservation issues


We know that historic preservation is a strong economic driver for communities, for Florida and for the Nation. The most recent economic impact of historic preservation numbers are powerful. $13.5 billion was invested in rehabilitation of existing residential and non-residential property each year between 2005 and 2008.

Historic preservation creates jobs in Florida. More than 123,000 jobs are generated in Florida from historic preservation activities during 2000. The major areas of job creation include the manufacturing sector, retail trade sector, services sector, and construction sector.

Historic preservation makes a substantial contribution to tax collections for Florida state and local governments. More than $657 million in state and local taxes were generated from spending on historic preservation activities during 2000.

Visitors to Florida spend billions of dollars while visiting historic sites. More than $3.7 billion was spent in Florida by tourists who visited historic sites. The tourists are lured by Florida′s historic sites, historic museums, state parks, and archeological sites. There are more than 1,400 Florida listings in the National Register of Historic Places and more than 135,000 historic structures and archeological sites in the Florida Master Site File of historic sites.

Public funds invested in historic preservation grants are matched many times over with private funds in local rehabilitation projects. Since 1983, state historic preservation grants have been awarded to projects in every Florida county, representing 2,751 projects and a state investment of $212.1 million, which the Secretary of State′s office estimates is more than doubled by leveraged public and private funds in these local communities.

The Main Street Program creates a greater sense of place in Florida communities. Since the Main Street Program began in Florida in 1985, eighty Florida communities have leveraged a state investment of $4 million into partnerships between private investors and local governments. This investment became a total public/private investment in these communities of $486.5 million (as reported by May, 2002) designated to improve the downtowns of these communities.

Historic preservation helps to maintain property values in Florida. In an examination of the assessed values of mainly residential property in eighteen historic districts and twenty-five comparable non-historic districts throughout Florida, there was no case where historic district designation depressed the property values. In fact in at least fifteen cases, property in historic districts appreciated greater than comparable, targeted non-historic districts.

Source: Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation by the Center for Governmental Responsibility, University of Florida Levin College of Law, Center for Urban Policy Research and Rutgers University.


The Florida Division of Historical Resources Historic Preservation Grant program is one of the most significant ways the state protects our irreplaceable historic places, strengthens communities and supports local economies.

Grants assist local, regional and statewide efforts to preserve significant historic and archaeological resources, support archeological excavations and develop and create museum exhibits sharing knowledge and appreciation of Florida history. The Florida Historical Commission reviews and ranks Special Category grants to create the annual list, which is then approved by the Florida Secretary of State and sent to the Legislature to determine funding.

S1166 and H1183

While Florida has access to the federal historic tax credit, there is currently no additional statewide tax incentive in place for historic preservation in Florida. We are only one of 12 states without this important preservation tool.

Projects in states with both a state historic tax credit have greater financial incentive for preservation investment. Not having a statewide historic tax credit negatively impacts the preservation of the historic places that make Florida unique and deprives communities of the economic benefit brought through these restoration and preservation projects. Florida does very little to provide economic incentives that encourage preservation and restoration of historic properties. Comparison to other states with this economic incentive shows Florida lags in rehabilitating historic properties for business and economic producing entities. The lack of these incentives also creates negative impact for historic places seeking ways to continue to protect their resources. For instance, there is no encouragement to harden existing structures for windstorm insurance.

These companion bills provide for a state historic credit to protect Florida’s history , strengthen its Main Streets and provide incentives for economic producing entities to reinvest in properties, provide jobs and stimulate local economies. The State currently administers the federal historic tax program and would not need any new FTE for this legislation. The bill would also encourage insurance of vulnerable historic properties.

S1526 and H1647

We believe it is possible to keep our communities safe, while also protecting the special historic places that make Florida unique. The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, in collaboration with organizations and preservationists around the state, requests consideration of amendments to SB number so that state, local governments and property owners can continue to enjoy the benefits of historic preservation afforded them by economic incentives, quality of life factors and associated sustainable qualities while meeting resiliency and safety improvements for single family structures. We ask lawmakers to amend the exemption language under Qualifying Structures and Buildings to match HB1647, exempting both buildings individually listed in the National Register of Historic places and also contributing structures or buildings within a National Register of Historic Places District.

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