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Historic rehabilitation tax credit generates economic activity, job growth

An annual report for the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office finds that a state tax credit for rehabbing historic structures generated $245.5 million in economic activity within Minnesota in fiscal year 2019 and supported 1,100 jobs statewide, according to a press release.

The Minnesota Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit was established to stimulate job growth and revitalize communities throughout the state. It provides a tax credit of up to 20 percent of qualifying expenses for historic properties that also qualify for a similar federal historic tax credit.

The new jobs provided an estimated $76.4 million in labor income, both in direct employment and in jobs provided by subcontractors and suppliers.

Since the credit went into effect in fiscal year 2011, 133 projects have been approved, generating $3.3 billion in economic activity — including $1.1 billion dollars of labor income — and supporting 17,936 jobs for the state. During this period, $357.7 million (adjusted to 2019 dollars) of historic tax credits were planned to be awarded. For every dollar of historic tax credit, $9.17 in economic activity has been generated in Minnesota.

In 2019, $7.5 million in credits were claimed, generating $245.5 million in economic impact. Every dollar invested last year generated $13.40 in economic activity.

“The rehabilitation tax credit offers incentives to historic property owners and buyers that increase the economic value of rehabilitated buildings and contributes to a community’s culture and identity,” said Amy Spong, deputy historic preservation officer.

Some projects completed under the tax credit program include the Duluth YWCA, the Chittenden and Eastman building of St. Paul, the Grand Hotel of New Ulm, Gurley Candy Factory of Minneapolis, Euclid View Flats of St. Paul and First National Bank of St. Cloud.

Information about the Minnesota Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit can be found on the State Historic Preservation Office’s website at www.mn.gov/admin/shpo/incentives/state/. The analysis was completed by the University of Minnesota’s Extension Center for Community Vitality with contributions from SHPO staff.