Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Please note these recent announcements:

First Friday Appointments with Tax Credit Program Staff

A worker repairs a fan light at Fort Monroe.

NOTE: The monthly “First Friday” meetings with property owners and their representatives will not be held due to the covid-19 pandemic. Instead, tax credit staff respond to requests for assistance as follows:

  • Existing projects: Applicants/consultants should contact the DHR tax credit staff assigned as the project reviewer. Your project contact will work with you as needed.
  • For those without existing applications: Contact Chris Novelli ( to set up a call in which the appropriate member of the tax credit staff can answer questions and provide general guidance.

New Policy for Visitors to DHR

All visitors to DHR’s headquarters and offices in Richmond are now required to provide a photo identity card (e.g. driver’s license, state employee badge, etc.) at the main desk, where all visitors are required to sign in. (Guidelines for Visitors to DHR). In addition, visitors should be aware of DHR’s operations under Phase III of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Introduction to Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits

The preservation of historic buildings benefits communities and connects us to our heritage, enriching the quality of our lives in many tangible and intangible ways. Their preservation also provides demonstrable economic benefits.

Through the federal and state rehabilitation tax credit programs, property owners are given substantial incentives for private investment in preservation, resulting in enormous advantages to the public.

Both the federal and state tax credit programs are administered in Virginia through the Department of Historic Resources.

State tax credits are available for owner-occupied, as well as income-producing buildings. If your property is income-producing, you may also be able to take advantage of federal tax credits. Additional information and assistance with tax-credit projects may be requested from DHR’s Richmond office. Contact Chris Novelli at (804) 482-6097.


Statewide Economic Benefits of the Tax Credit Program:
In January 2018 Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs released this study detailing the positive economic impact and benefits of rehabilitation tax credits in Virginia.

Virginia’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HRTC) program has played an essential role in the preservation of thousands of historic properties since its inception in 1997. Between 1997 and 2017, the program issued $1.2 billion in tax credits, reimbursing 25 percent of eligible rehabilitation expenses as tax credits. Those tax credits have stimulated $4.5 billion in private investment since 1997. Although the $1.2 billion in tax credits issued represents revenue not immediately realized by the Commonwealth, much of the $4.5 billion of private investment may not have otherwise occurred, according to a 2018 economic impact study by VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. The VCU study analyzes the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program to better understand its costs and benefits to Virginia, its communities, and its historic buildings. The study shows that Virginia’s return in investment, represented by tax credits, is repaid in five to nine years. Here’s the full 94-page report. No time for that? Read the Executive Summary (4 pgs) or this Illustrated Summary.

Also of note, in 2017 Preservation Virginia, in partnership with the Home Builders Association, undertook a deep-dive study into the economic benefits of the historic rehabilitation tax credit program in Virginia. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly), a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm, studied the economic impact of 21 projects completed in 2014. Their findings demonstrate the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program doesn’t just preserve the places that make Virginia unique. In 2014 alone it resulted in:

  • $467 million in economic output
  • supported 9,960 jobs, and
  • generated $3.50 for every $1 invested through the first three years.

The study can be found here on the Preservation Virginia website.

Updated October 28, 2020