National Register Designations

The National Register of Historic Places is our nations official list of historic properties that are worthy of preservation. The National Register was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is maintained by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Properties listed in the National Register include buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts (see: Historic Resources) that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. As Georgia’s state historic preservation office (SHPO), the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) administers the National Register of Historic Places program in Georgia.

National Register-listed properties are distinguished by being documented and evaluated according to uniform standards called the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. To be eligible for listing in the National Register, generally, a property or majority of properties in a district must be 50 years old or older; retain historic integrity in location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association; and meet at least one of the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.

National Register of Historic Places listing does not place restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property. HPD’s National Register Fact Sheet provides an overview of the program including what the National Register does and does not do. The National Register establishes uniform standards to evaluate and document historic properties. However, each SHPO may have different policies and procedures for administering the program.

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Federal tax incentives are available for owners of an income producing historic property who carry out a substantial rehabilitation.
See the Federal Tax Incentives Program Fact Sheet for more.

  • Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit (RITC), 20 percent
    A federal income tax credit equal to 20 percent of the project’s qualified rehabilitation expenses available ONLY for income-producing properties. All properties must be listed in, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as part of a National Register Historic District. Project work must meet the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation.The application is first reviewed by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD), then forwarded to the National Park Service for review and approval. This program is available nationwide.
  • Charitable Contribution Deduction
    The charitable contribution deduction is taken in the form of a conservation easement, and enables the owner of a certified historic structure to receive a one-time tax deduction. A conservation easement ensures the preservation of a buildings facade by restricting the right to alter its appearance. Qualified professionals should be consulted on the matters of easement valuations and the tax consequences of their donation. To be eligible for the charitable contribution deduction, a property must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing building within a historic district. If located in a National Register Historic District, a Part 1 must be submitted to HPD for review and certification by NPS.

The Rural Zone program targets rural downtown areas that have been adversely impacted by local economic conditions by creating Rural Zones and offering economic development incentives. It differs from other programs at DCA which provide technical assistance and access to capital because it would establish an incentive program to stimulate investment, job creation, and economic development. It also adds in retail opportunities, which are currently excluded from job tax credits. Further, multiple sources can benefit for instance, a single new coffee shop might provide job tax credits for the local business owner, an investment credit to an urban investor and a rehabilitation credit to a local contractor.

The Job Tax Credit (JTC) will be $2,000 per new full-time equivalent job per year, up to 5 years and not to exceed $200,000 total or $40,000 per year. New full-time equivalent job means an aggregate of employee worked hours totaling 40 hours per week between two or more employees. At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created to qualify. This credit is for the small business owner who opens a storefront and creates jobs.

The Investment Credit is equivalent to 25% of the purchase price, not to exceed $125,000 total or $25,000 per year. At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained to qualify for the investment credit. This credit is for people who purchase a building downtown and cannot be taken unless jobs are created and JTC is taken.

The Rehabilitation Credit is equivalent to 30% of the qualified rehabilitation, not to exceed $150,000 total or $50,000 per year. At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained to qualify for the rehabilitation credit. This credit is to offset development costs associated with the rehabilitation of a certified investor property.

Similar to other incentive programs (i.e., Opportunity Zones and Tourism Development Act) this program will be the joint responsibility of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Both Commissioners will jointly review Revitalization Zone requests, and DCA will administer the program for approved areas.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Cities and counties with a population of less than 15,000
  • Must have a concentration of historic commercial structures at least 50 years old within the zone
  • Must prove economic distress based on poverty rate, vacancy of the downtown area, or blight.
  • Must be in compliance with the state requirements regarding comprehensive planning and reporting, Service Delivery Strategy, Government Management Indicators (GOMI), and the Report of Local Government Finances.
  • Must submit a feasibility study or market analysis identifying business activities that can be supported in the zone
  • Must submit a master plan or strategic plan designed to assist private and public investment

The purpose of the Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DD RLF) is to assist cities, counties and development authorities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by providing below-market rate financing to fund capital projects in core historic downtown areas and adjacent historic neighborhoods where DD RLF will spur commercial redevelopment.

Eligible applicants under this program shall be municipalities with a population of 100,000 or less, counties with a population of 100,000 or less proposing projects in a core historic commercial area, and development authorities proposing projects in a core historic commercial area in municipalities or counties with a population of 100,000 or less. The ultimate user of funds may be a private business or a public entity such as a city or development authority.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have a viable downtown development project and clearly identify the proposed uses of the loan proceeds. Once approved, funds may be used for such activities as: real estate acquisition, development, redevelopment, and new construction; rehabilitation of public and private infrastructure and facilities; purchase of equipment and other assets (on a limited basis).

The maximum loan is $250,000 per project. Applications will be accepted throughout the year and as loan funds are available to the Department.

Cherie Bennett

The Georgia State Income Tax Credit Program for Rehabilitated Historic Property allows eligible participants to apply for a state income tax credit equaling 25% of qualifying rehabilitation expenses capped at $100,000 for personal, residential properties, and $300,000 for income-producing properties. The credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes owed to the State of Georgia and is meant to serve as an incentive to those who own historic properties and wish to complete a rehabilitation.  The Georgia Preferential Property Tax Assessment Program for Rehabilitated Historic Property allows eligible participants to apply for an 8-year property tax assessment freeze. This incentive program is designed to encourage rehabilitation of both residential and commercial historic buildings by freezing property tax assessments for eight and one-half years.