Historic Preservation Tax Credit

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The Historic Preservation Tax Credit is a series of programs offered by the United States government and, formerly by the State of Alabama, to support the preservation and adaptive re-use of historic structures.

The federal program allows owners to claim a tax credit of up to 20% of qualifying expenses toward the rehabilitation of a National Register of Historic Places-listed properties and 10% for other pre-1936 structures for income-producing purposes. The work must be performed according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. The program is administered by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with the Alabama Historical Commission.

Alabama's Historic Preservation Tax Credit was instituted in 2013 and expired in 2016. It allowed for a a credit of 25% of rehabilitation expenses for income-producing or residential purposes for certified historic structures, or a 10% credit for buildings constructed before 1936 which were not certified as historic. The state allowed any NRHP listed building, any building identified as a contributing structure in an NRHP listed historic district, and any building which was eligible for such a listing to be certified. Projects were required to meet a threshold of $25,000 or 50% of the purchase price for the property to qualify, and the work had to be be done according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Commercial project credits were capped at $5,000,000 and residential projects at $50,000. The overall program was limited to $20,000,000 in total tax credits per fiscal year. The credit could be applied over ten consecutive tax years after certification.

Despite overwhelming popular support, when the program came up for renewal in the 2016 legislative session, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (who had co-sponsored the reauthorization) withheld the bill from a vote. He pointed to concerns raised by fellow senators Tripp Pittman and Arthur Orr regarding the impact of the credit on the state's budgeting process. Marsh further argued that the credits were not necessary, citing his own efforts to preserve Anniston's Victoria Hotel. He called for an independent study of all tax credit programs. Another criticism was the disparity between urban centers with numerous qualifying properties and rural areas with less access to the funds. When the law was renewed in 2018 40% of the 20 million pool was reserved, "for counties with 175,000 or fewer people".

A 2021 renewal bill added a provision that unclaimed funds could be reallocated if projects did not move forward within a certain time frame. The new bill also excluded residential buildings from the program. In the Alabama House of Representatives only Mary Moore opposed the bill, saying that it unfairly benefits wealthy investors.

Federal tax credit projects


Structure Project cost Year completed
A. B. Loveman residence $600,000 2010
Bingham residence $250,000 2005
Birmingham Publishing Company $822,962 2002
Burger-Phillips Building $1,366,277 2001
Chamber of Commerce Building $3,655,755 2004
Clark Building $4,122,852 2000
Crawford's Auto Shop $5,800,000 2009
Dewberry Building $495,040 2005
Dr Pepper Bottling Plant $331,666 2001
Drennen Building $475,000 2006
Emanuel's Barbering Salon $96,000 2004
Fix-Play Building $2,000,000 2004
Gilbreath Building $533,296 2005
Goodall Brown Building $4,001,531 2004
Havenwood Apartments $201,200 2005
Historic 1900 Building "Historic 1900 Building" $14,000 2001
Historic 1900 Building "Historic 1900 Building" $17,500 2001
John A. Hand Building $31,505,000 2005
Kenilworth Arms $1,900,000 2004
Kessler Building $1,599,106 2004
Lorch Bennett's Furniture Warehouse $1,000,000 2001
Magic City Casket Building $1,036,500 2003
Martin Biscuit Building $5,226,226 2001
Mayberry Hardware Building $2,733,000 2005
McCants residence $450,000 2007
National Birmingham Garage $146,594 2004
Nelson Manufacturing Company $1,301,281 2007
Phelan Park duplex $125,000 2007
Phoenix Building $8,029,213 2005
Redmont Hotel $2,460,419 2006
Rialto Theatre $820,245 2006
S. H. Kress building $1,020,402 2001
Stagg Company/Warren Reed Millinery $700,000 2002
Starr Piano Company building $350,000 2001
Taylor Carriage Company building $775,000 2007
Transportation Building $2,500,000 2001
Western Electric Company warehouse $296,000 2000
Watts Building $4,504,000 2002
Young & Vann Building $1,966,378 2008
YWCA Building $6,707,010 2006


Structure Project cost Year completed
Birmingham Electric Company Building $175,000 2000
McAdory Block/Huey Building $50,000 2001
Owen-Kartus-Vance residence $35,000 2001

Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit projects

Structure Amount requested or approved Year completed
Redmont Hotel $2,500,000 2016
Florentine Building $1,025,538 2015
Pizitz Building $5,000,000 2016
Thomas Jefferson Hotel $5,000,000 2016
Birmingham Fire Station No. 10 $75,000 2016
Empire Building $5,000,000 2016
First Federal Savings & Loan building $1,362,500 2016
Empire Parking Garage $62,200 2016
Iron Age Building $187,500 2016
Mack Truck Garage $281,250 2016
Brown-Marx Building $5,000,000 2016
Shepherd-Sloss Building $270,688 2016
Lyric Theatre $2,435,000 granted 2016
Cain Furniture Co. $1,662,500 2016
Powell School $1,282,179 2016
Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta $5,000,000 2016
Orlando Apartments $40,000 requested 2016
Protective Life Building $5,000,000 approved 2018
2200 Magnolia Avenue $1,668,000 approved 2018
Stonewall Building $182,182 approved 2018
The Denham $5,000,000 2019
American Life Building $2,900,000 2019
Frank Nelson Building $5,000,000 2019
Powell Avenue Steam Plant $5,000,000 2022
Birmingham Realty Co. Warehouse $4,000,000 2022

See also


  • Diel, Stan (October 15, 2015) "Status of Historic Preservation Tax Credits for Projects Across Alabama." BirminghamWatch
  • Sharp, John (April 21, 2016) "Alabama historic tax credit program ending next month, says Senate president." The Birmingham News
  • Godwin, Brent (May 6, 2016) "Historic tax credit extension dies, but supporters gear up for 2017 push." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Godwin, Brent (February 11, 2019) "Looking at Alabama's Historic Tax Credit program after first year of relaunch." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Sharp, John (March 22, 2021) "Alabama historic tax credit program fuels growth, sparks debate." The Birmingham News

External links