Historic
Preservation

Home

Historic Preservation > Tax Incentives for Rehabilitation

Tax Incentives for Rehabilitation

Important Dates

State Tax Credit Program Application Process

The State of Iowa historic tax credit program consists of six steps:

  1. Part 1 - evaluates the building’s integrity and significance and project eligibility
  2. Pre-application meeting – offers feedback to the applicant that will enable better prepared applications for the Part 2 submittal
  3. Part 2 - evaluates that the proposed rehabilitation work meets The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation
  4. Registration Application – for projects more than $750,000, registration application must be submitted during the Registration Period. For projects less than $750,000, the registration application can be submitted anytime.
  5. Agreement - establishes the terms and conditions that must be met to receive the tax credit and establishes the estimated amount of the tax credit.
  6. Part 3 - evaluates that the completed work has met The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and that all other requirements of the agreement, laws, and regulations have been met.

Forms associated with these application parts may be found under the forms tab within the online application system.

For more information about The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, see the National Park Service website and for more information about the state tax credit, see Iowa Code chapter 404A.

Beginning July 1, 2014, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 applications will be accepted year round. Registration applications for projects over $750,000 will only be accepted during the registration filing period. Registration applications for projects of $750,000 or less will be accepted year round.

Online Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program

Since July 2014, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Revenue have been working to create an online portal for the State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit Program (HPCED). On January 26, 2015, the online submission system went live. All application parts for the Historic Preservation and Cultural Entertainment District tax incentive program, will now be submitted online. Information which was previously submitted on paper forms will now be entered by the applicant online. Attachments such as photos, assessor statements, Iowa Site Inventory Forms, etc. will be uploaded as separate documents. See the Online Application Guide for guidance on the online process and naming conventions related to applications.

Information from projects which are already in progress has been uploaded into the online system. Instructions for current/ongoing projects can be found in the Online Application Guide. SHPO staff can assist your Applicant Team with the process to log into the CACTAS system and link team members to their projects.

(Multiple program use encouraged)

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the State Historical Society of Iowa administers the State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program, and participates in the certification process for the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives and county Historic Property Tax Exemption programs. All of these programs encourage the reuse of historic properties while retaining their character-defining features. Ultimately, each of these programs contributes to the revitalization and preservation of historic properties across the state.

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program

20% or 10% of qualified rehabilitation costs

Description: 20% of qualified rehabilitation costs are available as a credit against federal income taxes on income-producing historic properties. Rehabilitation work on historic properties must be “substantial” (an IRS test) and meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. Applications and photos must be reviewed by the SHPO and be approved by the National Park Service.

Eligibility Requirements: Properties must be listed on the National Register or be evaluated as National Register eligible and then listed within 30 months after claiming the credit on IRS tax forms. (A 10% tax credit is also available for non-historic, non-residential, income-producing properties built before 1936. These properties can neither be listed on the National Register nor be a contributing resource in a National Register-listed historic district.)

State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program

Projects with QRE's over $750,000

Description: This program uses a three-part certification process similar to the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program, but provides an additional tax benefit of up to 25% for the sensitive rehabilitation of historic buildings. The state tax credit is fully refundable and transferable. Because the Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District (HPCED) Tax Credit is currently capped at $45 million, the state program requires applicants to complete additional Registration and Agreement components in order to be eligible for the tax benefit.

Eligibility Requirements: The state tax benefit is available to non-profit entities and eligible tax payers that qualify for the federal program. Additionally, single-family residences and barns built prior to 1937 are eligible for the state tax credit. The entire rehabilitation project must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

Projects with QREs under $750,000

Description: This program uses the same description, eligibility requirements and regulations as the program described above, but the funding is from a separate allocation reserved for small projects which have qualified rehabilitation expenditures less than $750,000.

Eligibility Requirements: In addition to the eligibility requirements for the program above, properties must have qualified rehabilitation expenditures that do not exceed $750,000. The entire rehabilitation project must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

Temporary Historic Property Tax Exemption

4-year “freeze” on property tax increases, then 25% increase per year to adjusted value after rehabilitation.

Description: Local property tax incentive for the sensitive, "substantial rehabilitation" of historic buildings. Property taxes remain the same for four years followed by increases of 25% per year for the following four years. Two applications are required – one from SHPO and one from the county assessor.

Eligibility Requirements: Properties must be listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register, contributing to National Register or local historic districts, or designated by a county or municipal landmark ordinance.

The property must also be eligible based on the specific county's priority list for that tax year. The County Board of Supervisors will establish priorities for which an exemption may be granted and will annually designate real property in the county for a historic property tax exemption. A public meeting must be held, with notice given, at which the proposed priority list will be presented.

State Historical Society of Iowa Grants

Grant programs administered by the State Historical Society of Iowa may also be used to preserve historic properties. Find out more about State Historical Society of Iowa Grants.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation

To receive historic tax credits and/or grants, rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Preservation Program Manager
Department of Cultural Affairs
State Historic Preservation Office
600 E. Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0290
(515) 281-8742
SHPOTaxCredit@iowa.gov

©2013 The State of Iowa, All Rights Reserved | Policies | Accessibility | Non-discrimination and Accommodation | Website Feedback