The NM Historic Preservation Division's Financial Incentive Programs

NM State Income Tax Credit for Preservation of Cultural Properties

Since 1984, the NM State Income Tax Credit for Preservation of Cultural Properties has been used to encourage the rehabilitation of approximately 1000 historic properties around the state.  Administered by the NM Historic Preservation Division (HPD), the 50% state income tax credit is available to owners of historic buildings who complete qualified, pre-approved rehabilitations.  

Preservation tax credits have been used to rehabilitate approx. 1,000 historic properties in New Mexico.

A detailed guide to the program is available here.  Early consultation with HPD tax credit staff is highly recommended.  In brief:  

  • Properties may be residential or income-producing buildings such as an apartments, offices or stores.  Properties individually listed in the State Register of Cultural Properties or that contribute to a listed historic district may participate.  (Contact HPD to find out if your property meets this requirement.)  
  • The State Cultural Properties Review Committee (CPRC) approves the proposed rehabilitations prior to the beginning of work. They evaluate projects for conformance to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation* and HPD’s Guidelines*.  All parts of the project are described in Part 1 of the application*, including those not eligible for credit e.g. a new addition to the structure.  
  • Send the application so it arrives at HPD before the deadline of 14 days prior to a meeting of the Cultural Properties Review Committee (CPRC), for consideration at that meeting.  
  • The project term expires 24 months from the date of the Part 1 approval.  
  • The completed project conditions and expenses are to be fully documented in Part 2 of the application* so the CPRC may certify the project as a qualified rehabilitation and establish the eligible expense/tax credit amounts.  
  • The maximum amount of project expenses eligible for the 50% tax credit is $50,000 although the total project cost may exceed this amount.  Therefore, the maximum tax credit amount is $25,000.  When a listed property is located within the boundaries of a state-certified Arts & Cultural District*, the maximum amount of eligible expenses is increased to $100,000.  
  • The credit is applied against New Mexico income tax owed in the year the project is completed and any unused credit may be spread out over four additional years (unless used up sooner).  
  • The credit is awarded to the property owner and may not be transferred to other parties. When more than one person owns the property, each is awarded credit according to their percentage of ownership.  
  • Typical work that may be eligible for credit includes:  
    • Roof replacement and repair of parapets, eaves, fascia and canalés/scuppers
    • Repairing deteriorated woodwork
    • Stabilizing foundation and structural elements
    • Repairing windows and other character-defining historic features
    • Restoring historic interior and exterior trim and decorative elements
    • Replacement of broken or out-of-code mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems  
  • Costs for items such as interior furnishings, fixtures or cabinetry, new construction or additions, landscaping, minor repairs, routine maintenance and demolition are generally not eligible for tax credit.

FINANCIAL INCENTIVE PROGRAMS, MATERIALS FOR DOWNLOAD

*State Tax Credit Guide

*Application Forms

*HPD’s Guidelines

*NMAC 4.10.9

*Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines

*Arts & Cultural Districts

Federal Historic Tax Credit Program

Many important rehabilitation projects around the state utilized the 20% Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program to attract investment.  They include Albuquerque’s El Vado Auto Court, Simms Building, Hotel Parq Central, Hotel Andaluz, Luna Lodge and Old Albuquerque High School, as well as the Hotel Clovis, the Beimer House and Apple Tree building in Taos, the Plaza Hotel–Ilfeld buildings in Las Vegas, the Round Barn in Ojo Caliente, and Cook’s Hall in Raton.   

The National Park Service (NPS) administers the program in coordination with the NM Historic Preservation Division (HPD).  Participation is initiated with HPD in Santa Fe, and early consultation with our tax credit staff is highly recommended.  Comprehensive information about the program, including Federal application forms and instructions, guidance, on-line tutorials, and an IRS link are available at the National Park Service tax credit website.  

In brief:  

  • The buildings are income-producing properties and expenses for any portion used for a personal residence do not qualify for credit.  
  • The buildings are individually listed, or contribute to a historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places or are in the process of being listing.  (Contact the Historic Preservation Division’s tax credit staff to find out if your property meets these requirements.)  
  • The program generally allows up to 20% of the eligible costs of rehabilitation work to be credited against Federal income taxes owed in a 5-year period beginning at project completion.  Some provisions of the Internal Revenue Code may affect a taxpayer's ability to utilize the full credit.  Applicants should seek professional tax advice concerning their specific circumstances.  
  • For Federal tax purposes, rehabilitations must be substantial (please see the NPS website, the Internal Revenue Code or your tax advisor).