How do I find out if my property is eligible for the credit? The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) maintains a list of National Register properties, both individually listed and district properties. Contact Jan Gowing (410-514-7644 or [email protected]) to see if your property is on the list. Local planning offices maintain lists of locally designated historic properties. Call your local planning office for details. If you don’t know how to get in touch with your planning office, contact Nicole Diehlmann at MHT (410-514-7625 or [email protected]) for that information.
How do I know if my property contributes to the significance of a National Register or local historic district? Nomination forms for both National Register and local historic districts will list contributing properties within the district boundaries. Contact Jan Gowing or your local planning office (see contact information above) to see if your property is contributing. If these lists are not comprehensive, then reviewers at the Maryland Historical Trust will make that evaluation. Are plumbing, HVAC and electrical system upgrade costs eligible? Yes, as long as the work does not negatively impact historic elements of the interior or exterior. Are kitchen and bathroom rehabilitation costs eligible? Yes. The cost for new appliances is also eligible when part of an overall rehabilitation scheme. Are architectural fees eligible? Yes. Architectural, engineering and consultant fees are eligible. What about financing charges and building permit fees? These costs are not eligible. Are landscaping costs eligible? The costs associated with the restoration of significant historic landscape features, such as a parterre garden, walls or garden walks, etc. are eligible when there is adequate documentation as to the feature’s historic significance. All other landscaping costs are not eligible. Are patios, back decks, roof decks, etc. eligible? No. New construction does not qualify. Are rehabilitation costs for outbuilding, barns, garages, etc., eligible? If these structures are historically associated with the building and contribute to the significance of the site, then the rehabilitation costs are eligible. Non-historic structures are not eligible.
Can I put in skylights to light interior rooms? Skylights are usually discouraged; however, they are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Are interior finishes eligible? Capital expenditures are eligible for the credit. For the interior, this usually means finishes that become part of the structure. Eligible costs may include repair or restoration or wainscoting, mantles, interior shutters, molding and plaster. Consult MHT staff for a final determination of eligibility. I am rehabilitating my 1885 Queen Anne structure that has a 1960s addition.
Is work done on the non-historic addition eligible? Yes. MHT recognizes that buildings change over time. Reviewers will judge all changes to the building against the appearance of the building at the time the application is made. Work done within the existing walls of the structure, both historic and non-historic, is eligible. My historic house had vinyl siding installed in the 1970s. If I am not planning to remove it as part of my rehabilitation project, will I still be eligible for tax credits on other work that meets the Secretary “Standards”? Yes. MHT will not require owners to replace vinyl or aluminum siding with a more appropriate historic treatment if there is no work planned for this feature as part of the overall project.
Can I use historic materials obtained from an architectural salvage shop? Yes, if the architectural feature used replaces a missing original feature of the same architectural style and period. I plan to rehabilitate my house over a period of years, but the regulations say the rehabilitation must occur within a 24-month period.
What should I do? In this case, MHT recommends that the project be “phased”. This means breaking the project into smaller, more manageable units. Remember, each phase must meet the cost threshold — $5,000 for owner-occupied residential projects or the greater of the adjusted basis of the structure or $5,000 for all other projects. In a phased projects, MHT would prefer the first application to describe all projected phases of work. Later applications may amend the initial application.
If I am completing both the Federal and State tax credit application forms, do I have to completely fill out both forms? No. You must fully complete the federal form, but only have to complete the first sheet of each part of the state form. All the other pages are identical. Last year, I completed a rehabilitation project but only recently heard about the tax credit program.
Am I still eligible for the credit? Possibly. MHT prefers that no work begin on a project until the plans have been approved. Without this approval, there is a chance that the project will not meet the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for Rehabilitation” and therefore not qualify for the credit. To receive credit after completion, the project must not only meet all of the “Standards”, but also be sufficiently documented through before and after rehabilitation photographs so that adherence to the “Standards” can be adequately assessed by MHT