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Tax Incentives

The Oregon SHPO currently has two tax incentive programs to encourage the appropriate rehabilitation and maintenance of historic properties. Both are limited to properties that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Federal Tax Incentive
  • State Tax Incentive

Federal Tax Incentive

Implemented in 1976, the federal government has offered an income tax credit as an incentive for rehabilitating income-producing, historic buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  This tax credit program is administered in Oregon by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in conjunction with the National Park Service (NPS) in Washington, D.C., which makes the final decisions on project eligibility, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who handles the actual tax credit component.

Before applying, consult your accountant or tax advisor to make sure that this federal tax credit is beneficial to you. Certain income and other restrictions may have a bearing on whether an owner is able to use the credit. IRS administers the Department of the Treasury's involvement with the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program. The IRS has provided written guidance on these complex federal regulations, which is available as easy-to-read guidance here

State Tax Incentive

Oregon´s Special Assessment of Historic Properties program offers a specially assessed value, calculated by the county assessor, to formally listed National Register properties for a 10-year benefit term.  

Broadly, the intent of the benefit is to encourage state wide preservation by providing an owner with an avenue to make appropriate preservation improvements to the property without being fully assessed on those improvements during the 10-year benefit period.  At the end of the 10-year term the assessed value of the property will return to the fully assessed value which now includes the improvements completed during the 10-year benefit period.   

The state tax incentive benefit is not automatically applied to National Register listed properties.  National Register listed properties are eligible to apply and may be approved for the program if the building(s) will be significantly and appropriately rehabilitated/maintained.

The application process may take a few months and there are owner obligations-program requirements such as creating a preservation plan, a minimum spending requirement by the 5th year and submitting progress reports to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office during the 10-year benefit term. There is an opportunity to apply for a 2nd 10-year benefit term but this is not an extension of the 1st term.  The application process starts over again and properties eligible to apply may be approved for the program if the building(s) will be significantly and appropriately rehabilitated/maintained.   

Consult an accountant, tax attorney, other tax advisor, or the local county assessor to determine whether this preservation state incentive applies to your own tax and financial situation.

If the State Tax Incentive is of interest the first, and most important, step in the process is to contact us to discuss the program and to find if the work you have planned is appropriate to meet the program requirements. 


Federal Tax Incentive:

Joy Sears
(503) 986-0688

State Tax Incentive:

General Inquiries & Forms:
Mary Beth Grover
(503) 986-0672

Project Specific & Technical Advising:
Joy Sears
(503) 986-0688

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