State Historic Tax Credits

For more than 30 years, the National Trust has supported the enactment of 39 state historic tax credits, and today, the organization continues to work with partners to increase this number. These credits attract private investment to reuse historic properties, many of which would otherwise likely be demolished. And true to their legacy as “laboratories of democracy,” states are innovating with different provisions to tackle complex issues such as rural economic development and affordable housing.

The National Trust has observed the renewed prosperity of countless historic communities throughout the country and in nearly every instance a common thread is the use of historic tax credits.

A map of the U.S. States marked in blue offered a historic tax credit as of June 2023.

States marked in blue offered a historic tax credit as of June 2023.

State Historic Tax Credit Resource Guide and Data Center

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 State Historic Tax Credit 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. For more information, download the State Historic Tax Credit Resource Guide (PDF).

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. For more information, see the State Historic Tax Credit Data Center.

State Historic Tax Credits: Opportunities for Affordable Housing and Sustainability

Building on the updated State Historic Tax Credit Resource Guide and the companion State Historic Tax Credits Nationwide Data Center, this report provides new policy strategies and recommendations for how state historic tax credits can become an even more powerful tool to create new affordable housing, support sustainable development, and reduce carbon emissions. For example, since taking effect in 2019, the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program (IL-HTC) has created thousands of jobs, prevented unnecessary building material waste, encouraged millions of private investment in historic places and brought needed affordable housing to market places. According to Quinn Adamowski at Landmarks Illinois, 99% of the housing units developed using the IL-HTC are affordable. Because the program makes both economic and environmental sense, it was extended for another five years and increased from $15 million to $25 million. For more information, download the PDF State Historic Tax Credits: Opportunities for Affordable Housing and Sustainability.

To learn more about these resources, watch "State Historic Tax Credit Incentives: Tools and Perspectives for Building Stronger and Vibrant Communities" or "State Historic Tax Credits: Opportunities for Affordable Housing and Sustainability."

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.

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