The State Historic Property Tax (SPT) program offers a substantial reduction in the state property tax assessment for eligible owners. This fifteen-year agreement requires maintenance of the property according to federal and Arizona State Parks Board standards and limited to property used for non-income producing activities. In order to qualify for the SPT program, the property must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places either individually or as a contributor to a historic district. The program is managed by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in conjunction with Arizona's county assessor's offices. The SHPO determines program eligibility and monitors property maintenance, and the county assessor enacts tax classification changes, manages issues of property value, and tax calculation. Properties must meet the minimum maintenance standards established by the Arizona State Parks Board. The SPT program is governed by ARS § 42-12101 and ARS § 42-12102 through §42-12108 (39 KB PDF), and is operated according to rules established in the Arizona Administrative Code (12-8-306) (114 KB PDF).
The SPT program reduces the property taxes between 35-45 percent. (The exact figure is dependent on special assessments which are specific to your area. Questions regarding the amount of the reduction should be directed to the county assessor’s office.) As a condition of the reduced tax rate, the owner enters into a 15-year agreement with the state, consenting to maintain their property and to preserve the integrity of its historic features, materials, appearance, workmanship, and environment. If an owner plans to do any work on the property that will impact its public appearance, the SHPO must be contacted for review and comment or approval prior to project implementation. All such projects are reviewed for appropriateness according to a set of national guidelines called the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation (112 KB PDF).
Property owners are required to submit a notarized form (furnished by the SHPO) every three years verifying that the property has been maintained according to program guidelines. This report also requires submittal of two photographs demonstrating the current condition of the property. Furthermore, the owner is required to notify the SHPO when the property ownership or property use changes.
Applications can be obtained from your County Assessor's Office (21 KB PDF) or the SHPO. The application can also be printed from this website. The application requires two photographs (showing a front view and an angled view of the front and one side of the property; see this example (605 KB PDF)) and should be mailed or delivered to the county assessor’s office by June 30th in order to be enrolled for the following tax year. (For example, an application approved by August 1, 2004 will qualify a property for the reduction in the 2005 tax year.) Please DO NOT submit Polaroid photos. Standard 4x6 snapshots or digital photographs printed out are both acceptable. Applicants are notified within 30 days whether or not the property has been certified into the program. At the same time, the County Assessor’s Office is notified of the disposition of the application.
If you have questions regarding the SPT Program, please see the documents listed below, or contact SHPO at (602) 542-4009.
Standards, Rules and Statutes:
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation (112 KB PDF)
ARS § 42-12101 and ARS § 42-12102 through §42-12108 (39 KB PDF)
Arizona Administrative Code (12-8-306) (114 KB PDF)
Guidelines Regarding Front Yard Walls/Fences (92 KB PDF)