State Historic Tax Credits

Preservation & State Historic Tax Credits

To spur more private investment in older neighborhoods, 37 states 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.

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State Historic Tax Credit Resource Guide and Data Center 

January 2023

With more than 70 percent of states adopting some form of historic tax credit incentive to support building reuse, the utility and success of this preservation policy is clear. As states look to strengthen and tailor these incentives, this Resource Guide offers an overview of the tangible benefits of historic tax credit programs, the elements of top-performing credits, and a state-by-state comparative analysis of key features. 

The State Historic Tax Credit Data Center tool is intended to serve historic preservation policy makers, advocates, and practitioners alike as they determine the optimal incentive for their state. The tool allows them to compare up to three state programs at one time as well as a way to compare specific features of a state historic tax credit against all other programs.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation gratefully acknowledges the generous support of David and Julia Uihlein who made the development of the Resource Guide and interactive mapping tool possible.

Image of a brown and red trimmed building with a central tower. There is a sign in front that says Milwaukee Soldiers Home.

Milwaukee Soldiers Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

State Historic Tax Credit's attract investment to vacant and underused properties which would otherwise likely be demolished. An Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) Agreement between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, The Alexander Company, and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee created a mutually beneficial partnership that leveraged state and federal HTCs to rehabilitate the Milwaukee Soldiers Home and met a pressing community need.

Image Credit: Ryan Hainey Photography

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.

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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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  


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.