State Historic Tax Credits

Preservation & State Historic Tax Credits

To spur more private investment in older neighborhoods, 37states have put in place credits against state taxes to provide incentives for the appropriate rehabilitation of historic buildings. (See map below).

Well-crafted state historic tax credits, such as those in Texas and Virginia, encourage private investment in the reuse of historic buildings and promote investment in local economies. Also, the presence of a state historic tax credit increases the amount of federal investment in rehabilitation according to research from the Washington Office of Planning.

State Historic Tax Credits: Maximizing Preservation, Community Revitalization, and Economic Impact

A report from the National Trust for Historic Preservation highlights the key elements of effective state historic tax credit incentives.

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Pay Back to the State

Ohio law requires the state to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for each historic building seeking a tax credit. The state must determine whether rehabilitation of the building and awarding of the credit will result in a net revenue gain in state and local taxes once the building is used. The Ohio model takes into account tax revenues generated after the building is placed in service. Click here to learn about Ohio's program.

State Historic Tax Credits in Louisiana

Report undertaken for the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development found that fully half of all projects receiving the credit spent less than $500,000 to rehabilitate their historic income-producing buildings, demonstrating that the historic tax credit is fundamentally a small business incentive. 

Source: The Historic Tax Credit: Building the Future in Louisiana, Place Economics for the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, 2017  

Federal Historic Tax Credit

Statewide tax credit programs are often used in conjunction with the Federal Historic Tax Credit. Learn more about this important historic preservation tool.

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The reports below quantify the numbers of direct jobs and other substantial economic impacts created through state tax incentives. They also show how the rehabilitation of historic buildings starts to pay back the state’s investment immediately through taxes on construction jobs and materials.