Preservation Incentives

Benefits of Preservation

Historic preservation is not just about regulations that prevent inappropriate change to historic resources. Successful historic preservation programs also make available positive incentives, providing property owners financial and technical tools that help give new life to historic properties.

Economic incentives are available to historic preservation projects at the local, state and federal levels. The Historical Property Contract (Mills Act) Program provides property tax abatement to qualified properties. The Federal government offers rehabilitation tax credits to qualified projects and properties. Residential homeowners also find that property values increase when historic preservation standards are used in rehabilitating their homes.

Technical incentives are those that allow flexibility in restoring a historic building. These structures are often made of older materials that can be rehabilitated to increase their useful lifespan. Historic structures also require innovative solutions to improve energy efficiency. The California Historical Building Code is a performance-based code that recognizes older buildings often have additional needs in meeting fire and life safety requirements.

This section of the site contains summaries of these incentives that help make historic preservation projects possible. Also, see the preservation links section of this site for additional information on the programs available from other agencies and organizations.