Cuomo approves use of rehabilitation commercial tax credit for over 1000 historic properties
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York State has approved use of the rehabilitation commercial tax credit for more than 1,000 historic properties, catalyzing more than $12 billion in private investment since 2011.
Qualifying investments in commercial properties have been approved in 60 counties across New York State since the Governor signed legislation to bolster the state's rehabilitation tax credits. Federal and state tax credits each offer a 20 percent tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenditures for the owners of income producing properties listed or in the process of listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
"New York's historic buildings play an essential role in telling the story of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "These numbers show that rehabilitation tax credits are not only an effective way to preserve our state's treasured historic properties, but to drive growth and further economic development across the entire state in the process."
Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2013 to improve the commercial credit by enabling property owners to partner with investors who do not have New York State tax liability and take the credit as a refund. The ability to take a refund helped expand the pool of investors willing to participate in New York State projects. In 2019, the governor signed legislation to extend the state credit through 2024 and protect the value of the state credit from changes made in federal tax code, providing investors with more certainty. Since then, investors have completed 678 projects, totaling $7.7 billion in historic resource investment.
A study by the National Park Service details the impact of the tax credit on jobs and tax revenue in New York State. For the five-year period from 2015 - 2019, historic tax credit program activity in New York State generated 67,578 jobs nationally and more than $195 million in local, state and federal taxes.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The historic tax credit programs have proved to be successful and environmentally sustainable community development tools. In a few years, this robust program has helped revitalize more than 1,000 landmark buildings, create thousands of local jobs for skilled tradespeople, encourage affordable housing, and renewed a sense of pride among New Yorkers for our state's architectural achievements and legacy."
Senator José M. Serrano said, "The rehabilitation tax credit not only serves as a catalyst for economic revitalization by creating jobs and encouraging investment, it also ensures that New York's rich cultural history is preserved and protected for generations to come. I thank Governor Cuomo for his steadfast commitment to investing in our state's historic resources."
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes said, "Historic properties are an integral part of New York communities' identity and charm, and every effort should be made to preserve these historic sites. I commend Governor Cuomo for the success of the Rehabilitation Tax Credit program's ability to rehabilitate and conserve over one thousand historic gems."
Preservation League of New York State President Jay DiLorenzo said, "Historic tax credits have helped New Yorkers to take buildings that were once considered white elephants and transform them from liabilities into community assets that provide everything from affordable housing to incubator space for small businesses. It is the kind of building-by building economic development incentive that capitalizes on what is unique in a neighborhood and revitalizes it into an engine for economic growth. Delivering over $12 billion in economic and tax base impacts within the last ten years underscores the extraordinary economic impact and value of this program."
Owners of income producing real properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places may be eligible for a 20 percent federal income tax credit for the substantial rehabilitation of historic properties. The final dollar amount is based on the cost of the rehabilitation. The work performed must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and be approved by the National Park Service. Owners of income producing properties that have been approved to receive the 20 percent federal rehabilitation tax credit automatically qualify for the additional state tax credit if the property is located in a federal census tract that is identified as a Qualified Census Tract, having a median family income at or below the State Family Median Income level. Owners can receive an additional 20 percent of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures up to $5 million.