IRS, National Parks, and State Historic Preservation office (SHPO) collaborate in the administration of federal historic tax credits. Current offerings include a federal tax credit of 20% for non-owner-occupied historic buildings with rehabilitation costs greater $5,000, and a 10 % tax credit for non-residential, and non-historic structures built prior to 1935.
The State of Montana recognizes federal project legibility and currently offers additional 5% for a total of 25% of tax credits. No additional application is required, the state 5% can be directly deducted on state tax returns.
To be considered for the 20% credit, structures should be located in, and contribute to a historic district, which is assessed by the State Historic Preservation office. In addition to urban historic districts, rural districts offer interesting incentives for historic barn renovation for commercial or agricultural use.
If only a portion of the historic building is owner occupied, the remainder may still qualify for the tax credit.
Current Historic districts (HD) in Great Falls, Montana include in order for most recently listed:
- Great Falls West Bank HD (300 and 400 Blocks, 3rd St NW). Listed 2010
- Great Falls Central Business HD (Second Ave. N, First Ave. N, Central Ave., First Ave S.). Listed 2004
- Great Falls Railroad HD ( Park and River Drs., 100-400 blks. 2nd St. S., 100-200 blks 1st and 2nd Aves S., and 100–300 blks. 3rd St. S.) . Listed 1993
- Great Falls Northside Residential Historic District (200-900 blocks 4th Ave. N., 100-900 blocks 3rd Ave. N., and 500-900 blocks 2nd Ave. N.). Listed 1991
- Northern Montana State Fairground Historic District (3rd St NW). Listed 1989
Eligible projects have to comply with national rehabilitation standards and guidelines to preserve essential historic characteristics.
In addition, tax incentives for local development, state funds, and environmentally sound construction, as well as special loan conditions are available. Each of these will be discussed in separate posts.