The AHC does not have a grant program to assist private property owners. Grant-giving organizations typically fund public-oriented historic preservation projects where recipients are non-profits or government entities.
There is a property tax benefit for owners of historic property where it may be assessed at the lowest tax rate regardless of use (historic homes are already assessed at the lowest tax rate). Buildings must be listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. To see if your building qualifies, submit an Ad Valorem Assessment Application to the AHC.
If you own and plan to rehabilitate your historic building and use it for income-producing purposes (like an office, retail shop, or rental residence), there is a federal tax credit that equals 20% of eligible rehabilitation expenditures. See the Fact Sheet about tax incentives.
No, there is an application process to insure your building is eligible for the program and that the work that you do follows historic preservation standards. These must be submitted before you begin your project. You must also be sure that your rehabilitation expenditures exceed the adjusted basis of your property.
The formula is Purchase Price - Cost of Land - Depreciation + Improvements.
All applications in this state are submitted to the Alabama Historical Commission, who has 30 days to review and process a complete application. Once the National Park Service receives the application, they will issue a decision in approximately 30 days. The National Park Service charges a fee to review Parts 2 and 3 of the application.
Yes. After your three-part federal application is approved by the National Park Service, you may take your credits in the year the property was placed into service. If you cannot use it all at once, you may carry it back one year and forward 20 years. Also remember that you must own your building for 5 years after taking the credit and make no significant changes without prior approval, or that tax credit may be recaptured.
The Standards for Rehabilitation guide work on historic buildings by emphasizing the need to preserve the historic character of a property and retain as much historic building material.
Replacing historic windows if they can be repaired, sandblasting masonry or applying a sealer that traps moisture in the masonry wall, removing plaster from walls to expose the brick, and demolishing an intact historic floor plan are just a few things that can be problematic.
Contact the Alabama Historical Commission in the early planning stages of your project, consult an accountant to understand the tax implications of this program, submit an application as soon as possible to receive input from both the AHC and the National Park Service, photograph the exterior and interior of your building before doing any work, review the Standards for Rehabilitation and make sure your architect and contractor are aware of these guidelines, retain and repair as much historic building material as possible, and respect the historic features and characteristics of your building that make it worthy of preservation.