Grand Rapids Historic Districts, Tax Credits

Updated 1/5/11 by the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission.
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Rehabilitation and Energy Efficiency Incentives

The federal and state governments want to encourage the preservation of historic buildings by offering assistance through various programs and educational tools. Two very popular and effective tools are the federal and state historic preservation income tax programs.

The Michigan historic preservation tax credit is a state income tax or small business credit of 25% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures and is available to qualifying income and non-income producing properties.

The Federal historic preservation tax credit is a 20% federal income tax credit for substantial rehabilitation expenditures for qualifying income producing properties.

• Expenditures are minimal for the State Program.

• All contributing properties in any of the 6 Locally Designated Historic Districts and the 76 Local Landmarks of Grand Rapids qualify for the tax credits.

• Home owner occupied structures are eligible for the State Program.

• Interior as well as exterior projects can qualify.

Rehabilitation repairs are the most common tax credit projects and often address energy efficiency needs. Qualifying projects can include but aren’t limited to:

Window repairs; and if necessary replacement
Painting; both interior and exterior
Door repair; and if necessary replacement
Repairing any exterior and interior features
Siding repair
Furnace upgrades
Mechanical upgrades
Electric upgrades
Bathroom and Kitchen upgrades
Roof replacement
This is only the tip of the iceberg; qualifying projects are as varied as the styles and types of the City’s historic structures. The tax credit programs not only return money to you for projects you were already planning on doing it can also make projects that were previously out of reach, possible.

The federal government also offers educational products such as the Preservation Briefs; a series of booklets designed to teach property owners the ins and outs of historic structures. For example, Preservation Brief 3 specifically addresses energy conservation and historic buildings. These briefs can be obtained free through the Grand Rapids Planning Department or via the web link here:

For more information please contact Rhonda Baker – Grand Rapids Planning Department – 616-456-3451 or All tax credit programs are administered through the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office; see the web site below for details and application forms.

Michigan State Historic Preservation Office