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How Does a property Qualify for Tax Credits?

Properties that are eligible for or are listed in the National Register of Historic Places – either individually or as a certified Historic property within a Historic district – can qualify for the state and federal tax credit program. If a property is eligible for listing in the National Register, but is NOT listed, a Historic Property Information Form must accompany the tax applications (in other words, the applicant must go through the process of having the property listed in the National Register before tax incentives can be awarded).

When Conducting a Rehab Project, What Agencies Must I Consult?

Historic Preservation Division (DNR) – Both the state tax incentive program (Georgia Rehabilitated Historic Property Tax Assessment Freeze and the Georgia State Income Tax Credit Program) and the federal tax credit program (Rehabilitated Investment Tax Credit) are administered in Georgia by the Historic Preservation Division – DNR. HPD reviews applications from both programs, as both programs have the same basic criteria and require the same degree of Historical and photographic documentation. Upon approval of the state application by HPD, the federal application is forwarded to the National Park Service, Dept. of Interior, who makes a separate determination. HPD is the only entity that is involved from a Historic preservation standpoint when conducting a rehabilitation in which tax incentives are being sought.

Tybee Island Planning and Zoning – In order to comply with FEMA regulations regarding special considerations for Historic resources, the Tybee Island Planning and Zoning Department requires a copy of the approved “Part 1 – Evaluation of Significance” form that accompanies the federal application (see “Tax Credit Process” below). This document authenticates the building as “certified Historic structure” eligible for individual listing in the National Register of Historic Places or as a contributing building wihin an already existing National Register Historic District.

Tax Credit Process:

  • Prepare tax applications (preferably BEFORE work begins). Applications include a Part 1 – Evaluation of Significance and a Part 2 – Description of Rehabilitation. Existing condition of building must be adequately photo documented before demolition work begins or project may no longer qualify.
  • Submit applications to HPD for review (1-2 month response from HPD). HPD reviews both state and federal applications (both have identical criteria).
  • Upon review and acceptance of the “Part 1 – Evaluation of Significance,” HPD returns the approved “Part 1” of the federal application authenticating the building as a “certified Historic structure.” Submit a copy of the approved “Part 1 – Evaluation of Significance” to the Tybee Planning and Zoning Department.
  • After review and approval of the “Part 2 – Description of Rehabilitation”, HPD issues “preliminary certification” (often with conditions attached) of state application. HPD forwards federal applications to the Park Service, Department of Interior (for their own review).
  • Applicant has two years from the preliminary certification to complete rehabilitation work. Applicant must pay close attention to the conditions set by HPD in the preliminary certification – the conditions indicate aspects of the applicant’s rehab plans that may pose a problem in terms of conforming to the Secretary of Interior Standards. Failure to meet most (or often) all of the conditions will result in the denial of the project.
  • After rehabilitation work has been completed, the applicant must photo document the finished work and submit Part 3 – Certification of Completed Work. HPD reviews the photos and application to ensure that the plans that were approved for the Part 2 application have been met and that any conditions set forth in the preliminary certification have been met as well. Upon certification, HPD forwards federal Part 3 to the National Park Service for their review of the federal application.

One little known fact about Tybee Island is the ability to secure Historic Tax Credits both Federal and State on properties 50 years and older. At the present time there are approximately 36 properties available for sale that could qualify for historic tax credits. Some of these are more significant than others and really show the character and beauty of the historic raised cottages.

In order to get a particular property eligible for the tax credits, it is best to first consult with Bob Cuicevich who is the local guru of Historic Tax Credits. He will do all of the archival research and then register the property or properties individually on the National Historic Registry. He does a marvelous job of guiding the owners thru the process of restoration. He then certifies the property to put the now completed home “In Service”. At that time you are ready to receive 5 years of tax credits! The property taxes also frozen for 8 years, this is a great way to qualify for wonderful tax benefits.

Bob Cuicevich’s phone numbers – 912-233-8655 & 912-547-1940

His book “Tybee Island: The Long Branch of the South” can be purchased on Tybee at The Tybee Light Station and Seaside Sisters.

Note: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices does not endorse any of the products or vendors, referenced on this material. Any mention of vendors, products, or services is for informational purposes only.