Call to disband state historical commission shortsighted

To the Editor:

The January 17 editorial "Disband the State Historical Commission" references the Commission's "campaign against the state’s economy" without recognizing the economic stimulus that this government body brings to the Commonwealth. While regulations regarding development review may be vague, the benefit that the Massachusetts Historical Commission brings to our state through the Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is undeniable. As new statistics from Preservation Massachusetts point out, from 2004 to 2008, $74 million in state historic tax credits leveraged close to $1 billion in private investment for the state, creating over 12,000 jobs.

 This tax credit program, managed by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, creates an incentive for developers to rehabilitate historic buildings rather than tear them down. Programs like this make the historic cores of our towns and cities attractive to developers, and discourage the suburban sprawl that we see so much of on Cape Cod. Historic tax credits put people to work on projects that improve communities.

 The January 17 editorial state, “Every job in Massachusetts… brings with it both tax revenue and spending in local economies.” The Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit helped to create 12,000 jobs in four years in our state, so we should be SUPPORTING the work the of the Massachusetts Historical Commission with this program. A call to disband the Commission is simply shortsighted.

Paul Joseph
West Yarmouth, MA

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