Tax credit supports historic preservation

Tax credit supports historic preservation

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, recently announced the second round of recipients for a new statewide historic preservation income tax credit program. The program encourages private investment in historic properties in Illinois.

The second round allocated credits to three projects creating affordable artist or senior housing in Granite City, Rock Island and Moline.

“The program has incentivized private investment to create much needed affordable, veteran, and senior housing, construction jobs, boost local economies and bring unused buildings back to life and back onto the tax rolls,” said IDNR director Colleen Callahan.

“Together with the related businesses located in those buildings, millions in state and local tax revenues are generated.”

Priority is given to buildings that are in low-income census tracts, federally-declared disaster areas and counties that border a state with a competitive statewide historic tax credit.

Buildings that were once owned by a government entity, and whose development partnership includes a Community Development Entity, a low-profit organization, or a not-for-profit organization also are given priority for an allocation.

Three historic building renovations received an allocation for future state income tax credits in the second round of Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Arsenal Courts in Rock Island, built during World War II as emergency housing for workers at the Rock Island Arsenal, is being rehabilitated into affordable housing. The former Granite City YMCA is being converted into affordable housing, as well as commercial space, art studios, and a gallery. The former Garfield School in Moline is being rehabilitated as affordable senior housing.

During this first year of the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, complete applications were received from applicants representing a total of 25 historic properties in 12 different communities.

The total private investment of all projects applying to the program is estimated to be more than $600 million.

The total amount of credits requested were approximately $54 million.

Due to program caps, only $15 million in credits were allocated to seven projects in 2019, IDNR reported. However, that $15 million is leveraging more than $152 million in private expenditures.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is administered by the IDNR State Historic Preservation Office.

The program is available to owners of historic structures who undertake certified rehabilitations making them eligible for a tax credit of up to $3 million per project based on a percentage of their rehabilitation costs.

The tax credits are not issued until each project is successfully completed meeting all program requirements.

Information about the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is available by contacting Carol Dyson at 217-524-0276 or; or Darius Bryjka at 217-558-8918 or

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