Other Incentives and Grants

The following is a listing of preservation-related funding sources for not-for profits, municipalities, and private owners. Please follow the links for specific guidelines and deadline information. Please note that Landmarks Illinois has compiled this list for your convenience but does not administer any of the following incentives or grants.

Financial incentives for historic preservation projects fall into four major categories: federal rehabilitation tax credits, local incentives, low-interest loans, and grants. Only non-profit and government entities are eligible for most grants. Private, for-profit property owners may be eligible for grants at the local level. Always be sure to check with your local preservation commission about incentives that may be available in your municipality.

To read the Historic Preservation Financial Incentive Face Sheet, a document issued by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, please click here.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION INCENTIVES FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

Property Tax Assessment Freeze for Historic Residences

The Property Tax Assessment Freeze for Historic Residences freezes property taxes over a 12-year period after rehabilitation of the property. There is a minimum investment of 25% the property’s market value, as determined by the County Assessor. The building must be owner-occupied (single family home, condominium, cooperative unit, or multi-family building up to 6 units) and a certified historic structure. Learn more here.

20% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit

20% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is available for rehabilitating an income-producing building. This dollar-for-dollar federal income tax credit is equal to 20% of the construction costs; it may be used by the building owner or sold to a tax credit investor. The minimum investment is 100% of the building’s adjusted basis (the purchase price minus the land cost and depreciation, plus prior improvements). The building must be a certified historic structure. See the map hereLearn more here.

Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

The Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a state income tax credit equal to 25% of a project’s qualified expenditures to owners of certified historic structures located within River Edge Redevelopment Zones (Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Rockford, and soon Peoria) who undertake certified rehabilitation projects during the taxable year. For information on the current program, administered jointly by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA), click here. To identify properties in Rockford that may qualify for this incentive click here.

preservation easement donation

preservation easement donation is a one-time charitable federal income tax deduction equal to the appraised value of the preservation easement. A preservation easement is a legal agreement that assigns a qualified non-profit organization the right to review and approve alterations to a property for the purpose of preserving it in perpetuity. Property must be a certified historic structure on the National Register of Historic Places, individually listed, contributing to a district, or contributing to a local landmark district. Landmarks Illinois accepts easement donations. To learn more, please call 312-922-1742.

Permit Fee Waiver program

Through the Permit Fee Waiver program, the City of Chicago waives all building permit fees for individual Chicago landmark buildings or those contributing to a Chicago landmark district. Obtaining fee waivers requires prior application. For more information, call the Landmarks Division of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development at 312-744-3200.

Greystone Initiative

The Greystone Initiative has a limited pool of funding to help promote the rehab of income eligible, owner-occupied one- to two-unit greystone residences in Chicago. Greystone owners who take out a rehab, purchase-rehab, or refinance-rehab loan from Neighborhood Lending Services, Neighborhood Housing Services’ non-profit lending affiliate, can receive a forgivable loan up to $10,000 to help write down the cost of green, historic, and other quality-of-life improvements such as kitchen and baths remodels. Available through mid-August on a first-come, first-served basis until exhausted. Learn more here.

Eugene D. Funk Grant Program

The Eugene D. Funk Grant Program provides the owners of historic properties in Bloomington, IL, with financial assistance in the preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of exterior architectural features. Learn more here.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION INCENTIVES FOR NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

The Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a state income tax credit equal to 25% of a project’s qualified expenditures to owners of certified historic structures located within River Edge Redevelopment Zones (Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Rockford, and soon Peoria) who undertake certified rehabilitation projects during the taxable year. For information on the current program, administered jointly by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA), click here. To identify properties in Rockford that may qualify for this incentive click here.

20% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit

20% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is available for rehabilitating an income-producing building. This dollar-for-dollar federal income tax credit is equal to 20% of the construction costs; it may be used by the building owner or sold to a tax credit investor. The minimum investment is 100% of the building’s adjusted basis (the purchase price minus the land cost and depreciation, plus prior improvements). The building must be a certified historic structure. See the map hereLearn more here.

10% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit

10% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is available for rehabilitating an income-producing, non-residential building built before 1936. (Properties listed on the National Register of Historic places or in local landmark districts are not eligible for this tax credit). This dollar-for-dollar federal income tax credit is equal to 10% of the construction costs. The minimum investment is 100% of the building’s adjusted basis (the purchase price minus the land cost and depreciation, plus prior improvements). Use IRS form 3468. Learn more here.

barn or agricultural building rehabilitation incentives

For barn or agricultural building rehabilitation incentives, see section 179 of the Farmers Tax Guide (publication 225) for tax deduction information. One can deduct the cost of rehabilitating a single-purpose agricultural structure up to $25,000 in 2003. Use IRS form 4562 (Depreciation Deduction). www.irs.gov Also see 10% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit above.

preservation easement donation

preservation easement donation is a one-time charitable federal income tax deduction equal to the appraised value of the preservation easement. A preservation easement is a legal agreement that assigns a qualified non-profit organization the right to review and approve alterations to a property for the purpose of preserving it in perpetuity. Property must be a certified historic structure on the National Register of Historic Places, individually listed, contributing to a district, or contributing to a local landmark district. Landmarks Illinois accepts easement donations. To learn more, please call 312-922-1742.

conservation easement

conservation easement leaves farms and open land in private ownership and can result in an income tax reduction. It may also reduce property and estate taxes. For more information contact that Land Trust Alliance at 202-638-4725 or visit its website. For DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties, contact the Conservation Foundation at 630-428-4500.

Cook County Class-L Property Tax Incentive

The Cook County Class-L Property Tax Incentive is a 10-year property tax reduction for rehabilitating a commercial or industrial landmark building. The minimum investment is 50% of the building’s assessed value (the total assessed value minus the land value) as determined by the County Assessor. For more information, view the Class L Eligibility Bulletin or call the Cook County Assessor’s Office, Office of Special Assessment Programs at 312-603-5331 or the Landmarks Division of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development at 312-744-3200.

Permit Fee Waiver program

Through the Permit Fee Waiver program, the City of Chicago waives all building permit fees for individual Chicago landmark buildings or those contributing to a Chicago landmark district. Obtaining fee waivers requires prior application. For more information, call the Landmarks Division of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development at 312-744-3200.

 Chicago Facade Rebate Program

Through the Chicago Facade Rebate Program, the City of Chicago offers rebates to eligible commercial and industrial businesses and property owners who complete qualified facade rehabilitation projects. An eligible facade is the front face or elevation of the building, which typically faces the street and contains windows and the principal entrance to the building. Learn more here.

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program provides funding assistance in the form of cost-share grants to support the preservation of significant Route 66 buildings, structures, road segments, and cultural landscapes in the eight states through which the route passes. Assistance is also provided to support research, planning, oral history, and education outreach projects related to the preservation of Route 66. Grants are open to individuals, business owners, educational institutions, and local, state, and tribal agencies.

Eugene D. Funk Grant Program

The Eugene D. Funk Grant Program provides the owners of historic properties in Bloomington, IL, with financial assistance in the preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of exterior architectural features. Learn more here.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION INCENTIVES FOR NOT-FOR-PROFITS, MUNICIPALITIES, & GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Landmarks Illinois’ Preservation Heritage Fund Grants

Landmarks Illinois’ Preservation Heritage Fund Grants are intended to provide monetary assistance to significant structures or sites in Illinois that are under threat of demolition, in imminent deterioration, in need of stabilization, in need of structural or re-use evaluation, or need to be evaluated for landmark eligibility. The Heritage Fund was established in 2004. To receive more information on project eligibility and an application, contact Suzanne Germann at 312-922-1742 or sgermann@landmarks.org.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is issuing a request for proposals to rural communities facing design challenges to host local workshops in 2013. CIRD (formerly known as “Your Town”) works to help rural communities with populations of 50,000 or fewer enhance their quality of life and economic vitality through facilitated design workshops. Successful applicants will receive a $7,000 grant and in-kind design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. See the CIRD website for more: rural-design.org.

Home Depot Foundation

Home Depot Foundation provides grants up to $5,000 to organizations using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are given in the form of Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Learn more here.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Fund

The National Trust for Historic Preservation Fund grants encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for preservation projects. Grants are awarded annually in three competitive rounds: February 1, June 1, and October 1. For more information on this program, please read the guidelines and eligibility page on their website.

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation provides grants to upgrade the energy efficiency and lighting of public and non-profit facilities. Historic buildings are prioritized. Contact IllinoisCleanEnergy.org or  312-372-5191.

federal government grants for historic preservation initiatives

For federal government grants for historic preservation initiatives, go to achp.gov/heritagetourism-assist.html or email support@grants.gov or contact 1-800-518-GRANTS.

Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs’ Tourism Attraction Grant Program

Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs’ Tourism Attraction Grant Program funds heritage tourism-related historic preservation projects. Property must be open to the public on a regular basis at least 5 days a week. Proof that the project will result in visitors staying overnight in hotels is required. Projects are funded on a matching basis. Call 217-524-2998 to learn more. GOV OR NFP

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s Certified Local Government Matching Grants

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s Certified Local Government (CLG) Matching Grants provide funding for historic resource inventory surveys, projects that involve planning, National Register listing, public outreach and education. Learn more here.

Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program

Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) provides funding for community based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the transportation infrastructure. Learn more here.

Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs’ Public Museums Grants Program

Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs’ Public Museums Grants Program provides operating funds and capital project funding to museums that are operated by or located on land owned by a unit of government. Museum must be in existence for 2 years and have a professional staff. Contact the Division of Grants at (217) 782-7481 or learn more here.

Retirement Research Foundation’s Accessible Faith Grant Program

Retirement Research Foundation’s Accessible Faith Grant Program helps Chicago area houses of worship finance accessibility improvements to their facilities. Learn more here.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program provides funding assistance in the form of cost-share grants to support the preservation of significant Route 66 buildings, structures, road segments, and cultural landscapes in the eight states through which the route passes. Assistance is also provided to support research, planning, oral history, and education outreach projects related to the preservation of Route 66. Grants are open to individuals, business owners, educational institutions, and local, state, and tribal agencies. Learn more here.

Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program

Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) provides funding for community based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the transportation infrastructure. Learn more here.

AMTRAK® Great American Stations

AMTRAK® Great American Stations is a program to help communities discover the economic power of America’s train stations. This website has a listing of federal and non-federal grant programs. It is a guide for communities that are looking for funding sources for rail station development. Learn more here.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION INCENTIVES FOR INDIVIDUALS

Diversity Scholarship Program aims to increase the diversity of participants at the annual National Preservation Conference and in the preservation movement. The program provides financial assistance to approximately 60 community leaders from diverse social, economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds to attend the National Preservation Conference. Contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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