IDNR Announces New Statewide Historic Preservation Income Tax Credit Program

By Benjamin Cox on October 5, 2019 at 10:55pm

Hotel Bellville in Bellville, IL was 1 of 4 recipients of the IDNR Historic Preservation Grant announced on Thursday. The historic hotel will will be converted into affordable senior housing with ground floor retail. The Art Deco-styled hotel opened in 1931 but has set vacant since 2010 in danger of being demolished.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources this week announced the first recipients for a new statewide historic preservation income tax credit program encouraging private investment to rehabilitate historic properties in Illinois.

IDNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert describes what the program is designed to do. “It gives an opportunity for people to take some of those historic buildings that still have a useful life and rehabilitate them, renovate them, and make them a useful part of their communities again. Not only that, but this will bring some economic benefits back to those communities, as well. We see these kind of buildings all over the state, and again, it’s a great way to make them useful, big parts of the community once again.”

The Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, administered by the IDNR State Historic Preservation Office, is available to owners of historic structures who undertake certified rehabilitation making them eligible for a tax credit of up to $3 million per project based on a percentage of their rehabilitation costs. Credits are limited to a total of $15 million in allocations per year, with a total of $75 million in tax credits available over the five years that the program is to be in effect.

While this is the state’s first statewide historic tax credit program, Illinois already administers a highly successful River Edge Historic Tax Credit, which is limited to only five cities in the state. Illinois joins 32 other states which now offer statewide historic tax credits, which are known to stimulate local economies. In fact, a study by Landmarks Illinois showed that a state tax credit program can generate as much as $10.24 in economic impact per $1.00 of credit awarded during the construction phase alone.

The credits are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to buildings that are located in low-income census tracts, counties that border a state with a competitive statewide historic tax credit, and federally declared disaster areas. 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 are also given priority for an allocation.

For more information about the program or to see if you have a project that qualifies, contact Carol Dyson at 524-0276 or Darius Bryjka at 558-8918 with the IDNR State Historic Preservation Office in Springfield.