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State Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program

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.

Get Started

Purpose

before and after shots

The State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit Program provides a state income tax credit for the sensitive rehabilitation of historic buildings. It ensures character-defining features and spaces of buildings are retained and helps revitalize surrounding neighborhoods. The Program provides an income tax credit of 25% of qualified rehabilitation costs.

Another 20% is available if the property is income-producing and qualifies for the Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax. A separate application is required.

Eligibility Requirements

Several types of properties are eligible for the state tax credit:

  • Building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or determined by the staff of the State Historic Preservation Office to be eligible for listing.
  • Building contributing to the significance of a historic district that is listed, or eligible to be listed, on the National Register.
  • Building designated as local landmarks by city or county ordinance.
  • Barns constructed prior to 1937 and barns listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register.

Program eligibility depends on the type of building, the assessed value of the building and the amount of rehabilitation proposed:

  • For commerical buildings, qualified rehabilitation expenditures must equal at least 50% of the assessed value of the building (excluding the land) before rehabilitation, or $50,000, whichever is less.
  • For non-commercial buildings, qualified rehabilitation expenditures must equal at least 25% of the assessed value of the building (excluding the land) before rehabilitation, or $25,000, whichever is less.

As with other State Historical Society of Iowa incentive programs, the work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

View the National Register of Historic Places listing to find out a building’s National Register status or for information about how to nominate a property to the register.

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

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