There are numerous incentives available for property owners to develop and maintain buildings located in Hammond’s Historic District. State and Federal Historic Tax Credits are available for qualifying projects. The Hammond Historic District is also part of Hammond’s Downtown Development District (DDD). This means there are additional funding opportunities available such as a Façade Grant Program and a Revolving Loan Program. All of these options encourage renovation and improvement of the Historic District’s existing buildings as well as promoting and encouraging new business and development.
Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits
Tax credits encourage the preservation and continued use of historic buildings by offering economic incentives for their rehabilitation. The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation administers two historic rehabilitation tax credit programs for income-producing buildings: the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program and the State Commercial Tax Credit Program.
Historic buildings are tangible links to the past. They give communities a sense of stability, individuality, and orientation. Our government encourages the preservation of historic buildings through various means, including the Federal 20% Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.
The Federal 20% Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service. The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation acts as an applicant's first point of contact when pursuing historic tax credits. The credit is available for those income-producing buildings that are individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or are contributing elements to National Register Historic Districts. Rehabilitation projects must be substantial; that is, the qualified rehabilitation expenses must exceed the value of the historic building. All projects must be completed according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, and buildings must be retained for five years to receive the full value of the credit.
The 20% State Commercial Tax Credit was created in 2002 by the Louisiana Legislature to encourage the redevelopment of income-producing historic buildings in Louisiana's Downtown Development Districts. In 2007, the enabling program legislation was amended to allow historic buildings located in certified Cultural Districts to be program-eligible.
The 20% State Commercial Tax Credit Program is jointly administered by the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation and the Louisiana Department of Revenue. The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation acts as an applicant's first point of contact and reviews applications for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation; the Louisiana Department of Revenue reviews project costs. The credit is available for those income-producing buildings that are contributing elements to Downtown Development Districts or certified Cultural Districts. Rehabilitation projects must exceed $10,000 in qualified rehabilitation expenses and must be completed according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Once earned, credits are fully transferable and may be carried forward for up to five years.
The State Commercial Tax Credit program sunsets December 31, 2021. The credit is equal to 25% of eligible costs and expenses incurred through December 31, 2017; the credit is 20% for eligible costs and expenses incurred January 1, 2018 or later, regardless of the year in which the property is placed in service.
Under the recently expanded Restoration Tax Abatement Program (RTA), the assessed value and the property assessment can be frozen at the pre-improvement level for five years, resulting in substantial tax savings. In many parishes, the RTA can be renewed for an additional five years. In addition, this program can be used in combination with the federal historic preservation tax credit program, resulting in even more substantial savings. It should be noted that the tax relief provided by the Restoration Tax Abatement Program is not automatic; rather it must be granted by the local taxing authority, generally the municipality and the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry.
The tax abatement program is available for buildings individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places or buildings that are considered historic components of Register districts. It is also available for existing buildings in downtown or economic development districts. The Tax Abatement program can be used on the following:
owner-occupied private homes
Improvement projects proposed for historic buildings must be approved by the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation.
If you plan to renovate the exterior of your building including: renovations to the building front, awnings, painting or lighting, the Façade Grant program may be right for you. The Façade Grant awards are not to exceed $2,000 and must be matched dollar for dollar by the recipient. Only one application per fiscal year, work must be finished to apply. Façade Grants are not awarded for signage.
In 2018 The DDD distributed $6,815 in Façade Grants.
*Please note that all applications must have Historic District or DDD Design Committee approval to be eligible for funding.*
The Downtown Development District (DDD) offers a low interest loan to property owners and business owners in our District for up to $75,000 with an interest rate of 2 below prime. Applicants for the loan fund must be a registered sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation established for doing business in the DDD. Renovations are not limited to façade only, eligible projects include: acquisition of land for industrial or commercial use, acquisition of improved properties with development potential for industrial or commercial use limited to owner or tenant occupancy, start-up and/or expansion of businesses in the DDD, rehabilitation and renovation of usable vacant buildings for specific industrial or commercial use in the DDD. In 2018, the DDD distributed $249,196 in Revolving Loan funds.
If you are interested in applying for a revolving loan, please contact the DDD.