Under the direction of Dr. Michael Holleran and Dr. Michael Oden and in partnership with Rutgers University, the University of Texas at Austin was commissioned by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to quantify the contributions of historic preservation to the Texas economy. The study builds on earlier work completed in 1999 by the same team and expands the analysis to include programs launched by the THC since 1999. The study begins with an overview of the aggregate economic impacts of historic preservation in Texas. It goes on to review Heritage Tourism including the Texas Heritage Trails Program and National Historic Trails in Texas; and Historic Rehabilitation including the Federal Historic Tax Credit and the new Texas Historic Preservation Tax Credit that begins in 2015. Later chapters examine the economic impacts of the Texas Main Street Program, the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, Texas History Museums, State Historic Sites, the Texas Preservation Trust Fund, and finally the effects of historic designation on property values.
Historic preservation is a major industry in Texas. The conclusions from the study tell a compelling story: in 2013 preservation activities in Texas generated more than $4.6 billion of state gross domestic product (GDP), and supported more than 79,000 Texas jobs. This produced significant net tax revenue for both state and local governments in Texas, equaling over $290 million annually. Heritage tourism alone makes the biggest economic impact with $2.25 billion in spending and 54,204 jobs. Historic rehabilitation contributes $772 million in spending and 15,398 jobs. The results of the study were presented to the THC at the end of January in the form of an Executive Summary which is available through Texas Historical Commission website or the link to the right. Rutgers is completing the technical report outlining the methods and detailed results of the study.