Owning an historic property is your labor of love, and can often seem like a never-ending work in progress.
Part of the benefit of owning a historic property, whether it is a historic residence, commercial building, landmark, or site, are the monetary incentives you receive to maintain your property, known as historic preservation. Historic Property Preservation Agreements (HPPA) are contracts executed between cities and historic property owners.
HPPA’s can give you substantial property tax savings in return for the continued maintenance of your historic property.
Maintaining Your Historic Preservation Tax Rate
Most HPPAs come with conditions that you must agree to in order to keep your reduced tax rate. These conditions can include anything from simply maintaining the site in its current state for as long as the contract is in effect, all the way to requiring major historic preservation renovation work to bring the property back to how it looked when it was originally constructed.
Many times, these conditions are not explicit and you are caught unaware. Historic property owners often don’t know how much money is required to receive the tax benefits of the HPPA. A great example we run across is in regards to the windows of historic properties.
Some HPPAs require that the owner replace the non-original windows with architecturally appropriate windows. What they don’t say is that high quality “wood-like” windows will not suffice, and that only real wood windows will be allowed.
Replacing non-original windows with architecturally appropriate windows could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Small differences like this could end up costing you more than what the tax breaks provide.
Sierra Pacific Land Use Consultants work with cities, as your representative, to ensure that historic preservation HPPAs are fairly written and beneficial to you, the person working hard to maintain this country’s rich inventory of historical properties.