- Historic Preservation
- Financial Incentives
Financial incentives fall into four major categories: tax credits (federal, state and local), low-interest loans, and grants. Of these categories, grants are generally only made to non-profit and government entities. Only at the local level are grants generally made to private, for-profit property owners.
A grant is an award, usually financial, given by one entity (typically a company, foundation, or government) to an individual or a company to facilitate a goal or incentivize performance. Grants are essentially gifts that do not have to be paid back, under most conditions.
There are many grant sources and the application requirements and application periods vary. Below are a few grant opportunities:
Preservation Maryland – Heritage Fund
The Preservation Maryland Heritage Fund provides direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promotes innovative demonstration projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. Grants range from $500 to $5000 and are reviewed and awarded by the Heritage Fund Selection Committee in three rounds each year. The Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland. Historic sites, buildings, districts, objects, and archaeological resources are eligible for funding.
Maryland Historical Trust – African American Heritage Preservation Program Grants
The African American Heritage Preservation Grant Program is administered as a joint partnership of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) and the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT). The Program provides support for the acquisition, construction, and capital improvement buildings, sites, or communities of historical and cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland. Grant awards may require that the owner convey a perpetual preservation easement to the Maryland Historical Trust.
Project and Program Grants
Maryland Heritage Area Authority – Non-Capital Project Grants
Grants of up to $50,000 are available for non-capital projects. A one-to-one match of the grant award with non-state support is required. Potential projects include work in the categories of Planning (research, field investigation, data recovery, feasibility and planning studies, design documents and other planning activities that support the heritage area); Interpretation (exhibits, signage, pedestrian wayfinding signage, interpretive brochures, educational programs and materials, other interpretive activities that support the heritage area); and Programming (seminars, conferences, performances, reenactments, commemorations, festivals). Grant awards may require that the owner convey a perpetual preservation easement to the Maryland Historical Trust.
Maryland Humanities Council – Grant Programs
MHC provides grants to nonprofit organizations that use the humanities (literature, philosophy, history, etc.) to engage Marylanders. Grant categories and criteria encourage free, public programming in many forms including discussions, exhibits, lectures, living history, and seminars using the humanities as the central tools to explore and understand the complexity of an issue.
Maryland Traditions – Project Grants
Maryland Traditions Project Grants support research and programming that adds significance to Maryland communities by encouraging and funding professionals as well as community scholars, organizations, and artists to document, preserve, sustain, and present Maryland’s traditional arts and culture. Past project grants have included a row house arts festival hosted by a major museum, an oral history of oyster workers, and an Arabber wagon restoration project. Contact Clifford Murphy at 410-767-6450 or Michelle Stefano at 410-767-6570 for more information.
National Trust for Historic Preservation – Preservation Funds
Grants from National Trust Preservation Funds (NTPF) are intended to encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for preservation projects. These grants help stimulate public discussion, enable local groups to gain the technical expertise needed for particular projects, introduce the public to preservation concepts and techniques, and encourage financial participation by the private sector.
Maryland Historical Trust – Loan Program
Nonprofit organizations, local governments, individuals, and business entities may apply for loans to acquire and/or rehabilitate historic properties. All rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. MHT Loans require the conveyance of a perpetual historic preservation easement to the Maryland Historical Trust.
Maryland Heritage Area Authority – Loan Program
MHAA Loans must be within a Target Investment Zone and endorsed by the Certified Area management entity. MHAA may require the conveyance of a perpetual historic preservation easement to the Maryland Historical Trust.
To encourage private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings, and to promote investment in local economies, Maryland state law grants the City of Cumberland the authority to provide local historic preservation tax credits. In addition to local tax credits, The City of Cumberland encourages the owners of certified buildings, to also apply for state and federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits as well. These tax credits can be used alone, or in conjunction with each other, to help to offset expenses related to rehabilitation of certified historic structures. To qualify these structures must be either listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places or located in the:
- Canal Place Preservation District
- Downtown Cumberland National Register District
- Washington Street National Register District
- Greene Street National Register District
- Decatur Street/Decatur Heights National Register of Historic Places District
- South Cumberland/Chapel Hill National Register of Historic Places District
- Rolling Mill National Register of Historic Places District
Expenditures for certain interior or exterior preservation, restoration and rehabilitation work on these properties may qualify for tax credit, so long as $5,000 is spent and the work meets standards that ensure the historic nature of the property is not compromised. Infill construction, within one of the approved districts, also qualifies for a tax credit so long as the new construction is architecturally compatible with the surrounding district.
To be eligible and receive Local Historic Preservation Credits, the following steps must be adhered to:
Step 1 – Certification of Eligibility. Application filled out, and documents provided, to determine building is a certified historic structure.
Step 2 - Pre-Construction Work Scope Application. Detail of work planned for interior and exterior must be approved prior to commencement of construction.
Step 2a – Certificate of Appropriateness. Required for properties located within the Canal Place Preservation District, must be approved by the City of Cumberland Historic Preservation Commission.
Step 2b - Addendum/Modification to Proposed Work (if needed)
Step 3 – Certification of Completed Work. Documentation that work has been completed.
Step 4 – Tax Credit Application for Office of Finance. Final step for tax credit to be applied to property.
To view the tax credit information, please visit: Tax Credit Information Packet
Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Program:
If you own a historic property in Maryland, you may have the opportunity to earn a state income tax credit equal to 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures. Whether you are planning to rehabilitate your primary or secondary residence, there are state incentives that may help.
- Small Commercial: This program funds small-scale commercial rehabilitation projects, capped at $50,000 in a 24-month period, that do not exceed $500,000 in eligible expenses.
- Competitive Commercial: Owners of large-scale commercial properties have the opportunity to earn a tax credit on substantial rehabilitation projects, capped at $5 million.
- Homeowners: Homeowners can earn a tax credit on their historic single-family non-rental properties, capped at $50,000 throughout a 24-month period.
To learn more, please visit: Maryland Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Program
Other tax credit programs:
New Markets Tax Credits
The New Markets program is designed to encourage investments in low-income communities that traditionally have had poor access to debt and equity capital.
Solar Tax Credits
The federal energy investment tax credit (ITC) program, authorized under 26 USC 48 (section 48), encourages the use of renewable energy, including solar energy. The energy ITC program reduces federal income taxes by offering a 30 percent tax credit to its owners for long-term lessees for an energy property that meets established performance and quality standards.
- African American Heritage Preservation Grant Program: Administered as a partnership between MHT and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the grant provides support for the acquisition, construction, and capital improvement of buildings, sites, or communities of historical and cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland.
- Historic Preservation Capital Grants Program: Promotes the acquisition, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic properties in Maryland that are listed in or determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing structure within a district.
- Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grants Program: Available to non-profit organizations and local governments for research, survey, planning, and educational activities involving architectural, archeological, or cultural resources. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the development of preservation plans; architectural, archeological, or cultural surveys; educational outreach programs; and National Register nominations.
- Certified Local Government (CLG) Program: Supports a variety of projects such as historic site research and survey work, National Register nomination development, archeological investigations, community planning, and public education. This federal pass-through matching grant is available only to local jurisdictions that have achieved CLG status.
- Historic Preservation Loan Program: Provides loans to nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions, business entities, and individuals to assist in the protection of historic property. Loan funds can be used to acquire, rehabilitate, or restore historic property listed in, or eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places. They may also be used for short-term financing for studies, surveys, plans, and specifications, and architectural, engineering, or other special services directly related to pre-construction work.
- Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program: Administered by MHT and enables the owners or long-term lease holders of income-producing certified historic structures (those listed in the National Register of Historic Places, or a contributing element within the boundaries of a historic district listed in the National Register), to receive a federal tax credit towards the cost of rehabilitation that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
- Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA): provides support for historic preservation, cultural traditions, and special natural landscapes in order to stimulate economic development through tourism. Nonprofits and government entities with heritage tourism projects located within the boundaries of Certified Heritage Areas are eligible to receive grants and loan assistance for acquisition, development, public interpretation, and programming, as well as tax incentives for the rehabilitation of non-designated historic buildings and non-historic buildings in active tourism use. In addition, most Maryland Certified Heritage Areas have mini-grant programs. A list of certified heritage areas and their contacts can be found on the MHT website. Check with your local heritage area for more information on their mini-grant program. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>