State Historic Preservation Office
Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Federal and state investment tax credits for rehabilitations of historic buildings have had a profound impact on historic preservation and economic development in North Carolina. Since federal preservation tax credits were first introduced in 1976, over 700 income-producing historic buildings in North Carolina have been rehabilitated at a construction investment of over 300 million dollars. A new state credit for non-income-producing historic structures, inaugurated in 1998, has stimulated 22 million dollars in construction activity for 250 historic private residences in its first two years. The spinoff from all this activity includes job creation, downtown and neighborhood revitalization, improved community appearance, and greater community pride. Historic preservation is smart growth, and smart investment.

The Restoration Branch of the State Historic Preservation Office reviews and provides technical assistance to all preservation tax credit projects, both state and federal. For copies of tax credit applications and instructions, contact by e-mail either Tim Simmons ( or David Christenbury (, or phone (919) 733-6547, and provide your name, address, and name and location of your project.

In addition to the materials already available below, over the next few months we'll be adding additional reference and news items related to federal and state historic preservation tax credits. For now, we can offer the following:

New North Carolina Historic Preservation Tax Credits took effect January 1, 1998. The new law increases the existing state credit for certified rehabilitations of income-producing historic property from 5% to 20%, and for the first time provides a 30% credit for certified rehabilitations of nonincome-producing historic structures, including private residences.

The Federal Historic Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit: Frequently Asked Questions. Summarizes the scope and requirements of the federal investment tax credit program.

The Economic Impact of the Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit Program in North Carolina. Reviews the contributions of preservation investment tax credits to economic development in North Carolina.

The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. These are the "ten commandments" for guidance in rehabilitating historic structures. A rehabilitation must meet these standards to qualify as a "certified rehabilitation" for the purposes of both federal and state tax credits.

Emergency Procedures for insuring eligibility for state historic rehabilitation tax credits following a natural disaster

Link to Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits, posted by the National Park Service. Includes illustrated guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings.

County summaries of preservation tax credit activities may be seen on the county preservation information sheets.

* Reproduced for the City of Washington Department of Planning and Development Website
from the revision of this document posted at:
on the State Historic Preservation Office Website as of 12/11/01.
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