Historic Preservation Public Policy

Minnesota Passes Historic Tax Credit as Stimulus

by Michael R. Allen

From Preservation Action

Last week, on April 1, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed into law the Minnesota Jobs Stimulus Bill which, of note to preservationists, includes a State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit designed to stimulate green job growth, increase local tax bases, and revitalize urban and main street communities through reinvestment in historic properties. Approximately 1,500 to 3,000 construction jobs are projected to be added annually because of the measure.

The new state historic preservation tax credit, like the federal rehabilitation tax credit, will make available a state income tax credit equal to 20 percent of the cost of rehabilitating a qualifying income-producing historic property. Projects are eligible to claim the state credit if they qualify for the federal credit, which requires properties to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Minnesota currently has 1,600 listings in the National Register representing almost 7,000 individual properties.

An innovative component of the tax credit allows developers to choose either a certificated, refundable credit or a grant, which will stimulate nonprofit use of the incentive, and also can be used against the insurance premium tax widening the investor pool. There is no cap for the program.

Minnesota joins thirty other states that have similar tax credit programs.

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