Historic Tax Credits

There’s no doubt that preservation of historic buildings connects us to our heritage, but it provides a profound economic benefit to our communities, too.


Property owners can benefit from substantial incentives for investment through rehabilitation tax credits. Both our federal and state governments offer tax credit programs for buildings listed as certified historic structures.



Historic Tax Credit Toolkit


Wheeling Heritage sponsored West Virginia Living’s Historic Tax Credit Toolkit, which can serve as a guide for understanding why these tax credits are important and how to apply. Download this free toolkit to help you navigate the process.


(Note: This toolkit was created before the changes to the state historic tax credit and thus cites outdated state tax credit percentages.)

What are historic tax credits?

Rehabilitation – or historic – tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in income tax liability for taxpayers who rehabilitate historic buildings.


The federal credit is 20% of eligible expenses for income-producing properties that are certified historic structures and 10% for non-historic buildings built before 1936. The state credit is 25% of eligible rehabilitation expenses for income-producing buildings, and 20% is available for owner-occupied residential buildings. In some cases, taxpayers can qualify under both programs. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers both the federal and state tax credit programs in West Virginia.

Why do historic tax credits matter?

Historic tax credits are the most significant reinvestment tools in the revitalization of West Virginia communities. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, the economic impact of historic tax credit investment in West Virginia from 2002 to 2015 was substantial. During this time period, the tax credits created nearly 3,600 jobs and generated $36 million in taxes.

How does the application process work?

Applying for tax credits can be overwhelming. Hiring an architect or a consultant will help you maximize the potential. Applicants are strongly advised to consult the State Historic Preservation Office before beginning the process.


For additional information, application forms or a site visit to discuss your particular project, contact the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office.