Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit (Historic Tax Credit)


The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, otherwise known as the Historic Tax Credit, is one of the most powerful historic preservation tools we have. Recognizing the cost associated with rehabilitating historic buildings, the Historic Tax Credit provides a 20% income tax credit to developers of income producing properties such as office buildings, retail establishments, rental apartments, and others.

Established first in 1976, since its inception, the tax credit has resulted in the preservation of 39,600 buildings and generated $69 billion in economic development. In 2013 alone, more than 800 completed projects generated $3.39 billion in rehabilitation work and created almost 63,000 jobs. Recent studies have shown that far from being a subsidy, the historic tax credit actually stimulates more revenue than it costs – meaning it is a win-win for the American people.

SHPOs review Historic Tax Credit projects to assure their consistency with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards ( and the National Park Service provides the final “certification” necessary for each project. To learn more about the Historic Tax Credit, visit the National Park Service website (, and your SHPO website.

Recent Reports about the Federal Historic Tax Credit