Tax credit may help save on costs of maintaining your historic home
The Buffalo News – Homefinderextra
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The New York State Historic Homeowner income tax credit helps homeowners who plan to make improvements costing more than $5,000 to their primary residence when it is a certified historic home that is also located in an eligible census tract. There are more than 3,500 eligible homes in the City of Buffalo alone. Savvy homeowners have been applying for the 20 percent tax credit before the legislation creating the incentive sunsets in 2014.
Clinton Brown Company Architecture recently assisted a homeowner in Buffalo’s Allentown Historic District in completing the tax credit application for needed masonry repairs and gutter improvements. He will receive a state tax refund of more than $1,200 on his state taxes this year. Here is how he did it:
Dr. Marvin Stiglitz is a Veteran and retired optometrist who has lived in the three-story brick home since 1989. With his partner, Thomas Sadowski, who is on the faculty at Buffalo State College, Marvin and Thomas have carefully maintained and improved the 170-year-old property.
Built around 1840, the building shows a pedimented entry porch, multi-light windows with stone sills and keystones, and a prominent Georgian-cornice. A handsome historic home!
Due to its age and architecture, the house on Irving Placeis a certified historic building within the Allentown National Register Historic District that was established in 1981.
One of Buffalo’s early storms did catch up with Stiglitz and Sadowski, damaging the gutter system and leading to the deterioration of the soft bricks and mortar along the south elevation. After repairing the gutter system, Sadowski sought a qualified contractor to complete the masonry work.
Upon hearing about the NYS Historic Homeowner tax credit, Sadowski, aware of the economic incentive and timely opportunity, contacted Clinton Brown Company Architecture. The result?
“They handled the entire application process for us. They made a site visit to take photographs and wrote the application. They worked with the reviewer at the State Historic Preservation Office and cleared the work with the local Preservation Board. They coordinated with our contractor to make sure the work was done appropriately,” says Sadowski. “They were very affordable, too.”
In fact, the soft costs of an architect are also eligible for the tax credit.
To find out if you are eligible for the Historic Homeowner Rehabilitation Tax Credit, use this checklist:
- My primary residence is certified historic being individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or contributing to a tax-certified local historic district or National Register district.
- My primary residence is located in an eligible census tract, that is, one with a Median Family Income at or below the State Family Median Income as determined by the census. Many Buffalo Niagara tracts qualify.
- I plan to make improvements costing more than $5,000, with at least five percent of that cost for exterior work. This includes but is not limited to roofing, painting, masonry repair, window repair, interior finishes and fixtures, new utilities and more.
- I have obtained pre-approval of the improvements by the State Historic Preservation Office, the reviewing agency, before undertaking the work.
Meagan Baco is a historic preservation specialist and tax credit coordinator at Clinton Brown Company Architecture, the leading full service historic preservation architecture firm specializing in obtaining these tax credits. The firm has completed more than 35 tax credit projects.