In addition to the honorific value of National Register listing for your property, there is also a significant financial benefit in the form of income tax credits for qualified expenditures on your historic home and your historic income-producing property (including commercial buildings, rental houses, etc).
For Wisconsin homeowners — The State of Wisconsin’s historic homeowners’ tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what you owe in Wisconsin income taxes. The amount of the credit is 25 percent of your costs of carrying out eligible work. If your credit is larger than the amount that you owe in state income taxes, you can carry the unused balance into future tax years (up to 15 years into the future) until the credit is used up. For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Historical Society’s page here.
For Michigan homeowners — Effective January 1, 2012, the State of Michigan terminated its state historic preservation tax credit program. This is not to say that the tax credit program will not some day be restored. For more information, please visit the Michigan State Housing Development Authority page here.
Your Income-Producing Property
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program returns 20 percent of the cost of rehabilitating historic buildings to owners as federal income tax credit. In addition to this federal program, the State of Wisconsin’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program returns 20 percent of the cost of rehabilitating historic buildings to owners as a Wisconsin income tax credit, as described here.
Listing your Property
The tax credits available require that your property be listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The listing process is, broadly speaking, done in two steps. First, both Wisconsin and Michigan have questionnaires that allow the State Historic Preservation Office staff to make a preliminary determination of eligibility for your property. Second, once your property has been determined to be potentially eligible, a formal nomination package must be prepared. The questionnaires are relatively simple and can be done at very little cost. The formal nomination package is significantly more complex, requiring a serious commitment of time, depending in part on the research that you have already done on your property (the National Park Service estimates that 100 hours are required to prepare a National Register nomination form for an average property).
Please contact us for a free opinion as to whether or not your property is likely to be determined eligible for National Register listing and to begin the process of putting your property’s historic significance to work for you.