We accept Part 2 applications for the State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit Program for projects with estimated qualified rehabilitation costs of $500,000 or less throughout the year until all credits are reserved. Projects over $500,000 must wait to file Part 2 applications during the filing window, which opens on the first day of the state fiscal year each July.
(Multiple program use encouraged)
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the State Historical Society of Iowa administers the State Historic Preservation Tax Incentive 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.
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.)
Description: 25% of qualified rehabilitation costs are available as a credit against the owner(s) state income taxes. Properties do not need to be income-producing. The SHPO cannot reserve credits for more than three years into the future. For a residential property or barn constructed before 1937, the cost of a qualified rehabilitation project must exceed either $25,000 or 25% of the assessed value (less the land value) - whichever is less. For commercial properties, the rehabilitation project must exceed 50% of the assessed value of the property (less the land value) before rehabilitation. If there is no assessed value the insured value can be used. Rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
Eligibility Requirements: Properties must be listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or barns constructed before 1937 or barns that are eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places..
Description: This program uses the same description, eligibility requirements and regulations as the statewide program described above although the funding is from a separate allocation for projects located within Cultural and Entertainment Districts (CED) certified pursuant to section 303.3B or Great Places agreements pursuant to section 303.3C.
Eligibility Requirements: In addition to the eligibility requirements for the state wide program above, properties must be located in a CED or specified in a Great Places agreement.
Description: This program uses the same description, eligibility requirements and regulations as the statewide program described above although the funding is from a separate allocation reserved for small projects which have qualified rehabilitation costs less than $500,000.
Eligibility Requirements: In addition to the eligibility requirements for the state wide program above, properties must have qualified rehabilitation costs that do not exceed $500,000. The entire rehabilitation project must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
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.
Other grant programs administered by the State Historical Society of Iowa may also be used to preserve historic properties. Find out more about SHSI Grants.
To receive historic tax credits and/or grants, rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. To learn more download these documents:.
Part 1: Cleaning Historic Masonry
Part 2: Cleaning Historic Metal
Part 3: Cleaning Historic Wood
Part 4: Cleaning Historic Stucco
Part 5: Cleaning Historic Ceramic Tile and Terra Cotta
Part 6: Cleaning and Hazardous Material
Elizabeth (Beth) Foster Hill
Tax Incentive Programs Manager/National Register Coordinator
Department of Cultural Affairs
600 E. Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0290