Tax Incentives Program

Owners of National Register properties may be eligible for special historic preservation tax incentives. The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program authorizes a 20 percent investment tax credit coupled with accelerated depreciation for income-producing properties. The SHPO is responsible for reviewing the eligibility of properties as well as rehabilitation plans to ensure their compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Additionally, the State of Arizona maintains a property tax reduction program for non-income-producing properties listed on the National Register and a property tax incentive program for income-producing properties. This program is administered by the SHPO in conjunction with the county assessors.

For information on the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program, contact Susan Lawson at (602) 542-6943 or

For information on our State Property Tax programs, contact Arianna Urban at (602) 542-7138 or

Incentives for Historic Preservation

As tangible links to its past, a community's historic buildings reflect the unique character of its neighborhoods, businesses, and gathering places. Various federal and state laws have been enacted to support the preservation of these places through tax reductions, grants, and other financial incentives. Arizona's historic property owners can benefit from these programs if their properties meet certain criteria. Preservation incentive programs are summarized below.

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

NOTICE:  As of August 15, 2023, all historic preservation certification applications must be submitted electronically, both new applications submitted to State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and materials submitted to the NPS in response to requests for additional information.

More information on the updated submission process can be found here:

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program permits owners and some lessees of historic buildings to take a 20 percent income tax credit on the cost of rehabilitating such buildings for industrial, commercial, or rental purposes. The rehabilitated building must be a certified historic structure that is subject to depreciation, and the rehabilitation must be certified as meeting The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, established by the National Park Service (NPS).

The program is governed by Section 43 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 47) and Section 170 (h) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 170(h)). The Internal Revenue Service is responsible for all procedures, legal determinations, and rules and regulations governing the tax consequences of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program. For more more information visit the National Park Service Tax Incentives site at:

Updated Electronic Submission Requirements to Arizona SHPO: 

• Please follow all updated instructions provided by the NPS. If not in conformance, the application will be returned to the applicant for correction prior to SHPO review.
• SHPO will also be using the NPS date of August 15 as our date for all submissions to be provided to our office in electronic format. Before that date, SHPO will accept hard copy or electronic files.
• After August 15, 2023 electronic files must be sent on a USB flash drive. Hard copies and CDs of the application will not be accepted.
• A cover letter should accompany the USB flash drive to identify the project being submitted to our office.
• Applications can be delivered by USPS mail or mailing service, or hand delivery during business hours, to:

State Historic Preservation Office
Attention: SHPO Architect
1110 West Washington Avenue, Suite 100
Phoenix AZ 85007


Only projects involving certified historic structures are eligible for tax credits. According to program rules, a certified historic structure is:

  • a structure individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, or;
  • a structure certified by NPS as contributing to a registered district. A registered district is a designated area listed in the National Register, or listed under a state or local statute certified as substantially meeting the requirements for listing of districts in the National Register.

Application and Certification

NPS requires that owners complete a form, the Historic Preservation Certification Application (Form 10-168) for all certification requests. The form is divided into three parts; Part 1 for evaluating the historic significance of a building; Part 2 for describing rehabilitation work; and Part 3 for requesting certification of completed work.

Applications are submitted to and reviewed by the SHPO before submission to NPS, which makes the final certification decision after considering the recommendations of the SHPO. For proposed rehabilitation work as described in Part 2 of the application form, NPS will issue preliminary approval if it meets The Secretary of the Interior's Standards. The preliminary approval becomes final when the work is completed and NPS can verify that the Standards have been met. NPS charges a fee for reviewing certification requests which is based on the cost of rehabilitation.

Commercial Properties

The State Property Tax (SPT) Program for Incoming Producing Properties is a rehabilitation-based program for historic properties. It can be combined with the  federal tax incentive program, though this program affects property taxes rather than income tax. Upon entering the program, the County Assessor’s Office will do an assessment of the property as is. Over the next 10 years, improvements are taxed at 1% instead of the normal commercial rate. Without a substantial amount of rehabilitation, this program will have little or no effect upon a building’s property tax. As with the federal tax incentive program all work must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and be preapproved by SHPO. Unlike the Federal program, properties must already be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in order to be admitted into the program.

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