State Tax Incentive Programs

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Preservation Law 101
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The use of tax incentives to encourage the rehabilitation of historic properties is considered an essential element of a good preservation program.

To date, close to 80% of the states offer tax incentives. These programs generally authorize municipalities to award local property tax abatements on historically-rehabbed properties or provide state income tax credits. Under both types of programs, states will require a minimum level of investment in the rehabilitation of the property and often insist that the property be rehabilitated in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Indeed, many of the tax credit programs simply "piggy back" on the federal tax credit program, providing additional incentives for projects meeting the Standards for Rehabilitation under the federal program.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation maintains a list of state tax incentive programs.

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Layperson's Guide to Preservation Law: Federal, State and Local Laws Governing Historic Resources
First published in 1997, this booklet provides a concise and comprehensible guide to federal, state and local laws governing historic resource protection. The 2008 edition includes updated information on transportation issues, eminent domain, easements, the American's with Disabilities Act, and the regulation of historic religious properties.

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