Schumer Pushes Federal Tax Credits for Historic Buildings

November 20, 2012 Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

November 20, 2012 Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Senator Chuck Schumer came to Buffalo on Tuesday afternoon, announcing a plan to redevelop historic buildings.

While touring Statler City in downtown, Schumer announced his plan to push two federal tax credits to redevelop rundown but historic buildings.

While touring the Statler, Schumer said he saw both success of recent renovations and incredible potential for the future.

The first three floors of the building have already been refurbished.

"They're already booked up a year in advance many weekends on the first three floors," Schumer explains. "Well you could do the same thing on the next 15 floors and multiply the number of jobs, the money flowing in."

The Senator is calling for two different federal tax credits to help redevelop historic buildings in downtown Buffalo, including the Statler.

Schumer believes the Federal Historic Tax Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit could help these buildings, and in turn produce jobs and tourism in the area.

However, Congress has to act fast. Unless it extends the New Masters Tax Credit, it could go away at year's end.

Schumer says mid-size cities like Buffalo need this help, saying "it would be a shot in the arm for the Buffalo economy. Just at a time when we're seeing job numbers begin to rise and companies beginning to look at Buffalo."

Earlier on Tuesday, Schumer also traveled to Niagara Falls, announcing that the city is one of eight places chosen for the Federal Diagnostic Crime Center, where federal authorities analyze crime in the city.

Schumer says Niagara Falls has been plagued by crime. Authorities will "focus on how to arrest the recidivists, those who commit crimes over and over again, and then how to use diminishing police resources for the City of Niagara Falls, given its budget is declining."

Schumer hopes with less crime in Niagara Falls, more tourists will stay on the U.S. side to see one of nature's wonders.