In celebration of a new year, Preservation Matters would like to take this opportunity to remind taxpayer owners of designated historic properties in the City of Frederick to gather their receipts and invoices for all exterior preservation and rehabilitation work completed in 2021 in order to apply for the property tax credit for the historic preservation of the city.
Eligible properties include all those within the Historic Preservation Overlay Area, which includes the Frederick Town Historic District as well as individually designated landmarks. The deadline for tax credit claims is April 1, 2022 and any credit will be applied to property tax bills sent by the county in July.
The City’s Historic Preservation Property Tax Credit is intended to offset some of the additional costs that may arise from maintaining a designated historic property in accordance with adopted design guidelines. The credit is equal to 25% of properly documented expenses incurred for exterior work that contributes to the restoration or preservation of a designated structure. This includes, but is not limited to, works such as repointing; repair windows and doors; exterior painting; reproduce deteriorated or missing historical trim or ornaments; roof repair or replacement with historically appropriate or traditional materials; and the installation of storm doors and windows. Examples of ineligible items include interior work; new construction or addition; mechanical equipment, electrical or plumbing systems, utilities, tree planting or removal, professional services and permit fees. Payments to licensed contractors are eligible, but the value of the owner’s time is not.
Not all work that requires and receives approval from the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is necessarily eligible for the tax credit. For example, HPC approval is required for a new patio or parking lot, but as this work does not contribute to the exterior restoration of a historic structure, the related expenses are not eligible. An important requirement to keep in mind is that the project must have prior HPC approval and a building or zoning permit, unless the project involves only eligible work on the minor rehabilitation list. Retroactive HPC claims will not be considered for tax credit eligibility purposes when applying for the property tax credit.
In addition, the minimum eligible expenses must total at least $500 and the maximum total credit for a given year is capped at $7,500. However, if the amount of the credit exceeds the tax payable, the amount can be carried forward for up to five years and is transferable if the property is sold before the credit is fully claimed. The city can recoup the credit if the structure is subsequently demolished.
The application process is simple and there are no fees. Before and after photographs are required, along with proof of payment, receipts or invoices marked paid and other documents as indicated on the application forms. To get started, first visit www.cityoffrederickmd.gov/preservation to download a copy of the application materials. Once complete, submit the complete package in PDF format to [email protected]
Planning staff will perform an initial review of tax credit claims and verify that all required documents are submitted. The HPC will certify the expenses based on the staff recommendation and forward them to the Director of Finance for final review who, in turn, will notify the Frederick County Treasury of the credit amounts to be applied to property tax bills. .
If you own property designated in the Historic Preservation Overlay in the City of Frederick, don’t wait to apply for your property tax credit and don’t hesitate to contact Lisa Mroszczyk Murphy at [email protected] or 301-600-6278.
The City of Frederick is currently seeking interested individuals to fill several vacancies within the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Members must, at a minimum, have demonstrated a particular interest, specific knowledge or professional or academic training in fields such as history, architecture, history of architecture, planning, prehistoric archeology and historical, cultural anthropology, folklore, conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design or related disciplines. The HPC is responsible for reviewing requests for exterior alterations to sites or structures within the Historic Preservation Overlay District, in accordance with applicable provisions of the Land Management Code (LMC) and for engaging in other duties. as planned in the LMC. Meetings are held the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Interested individuals should email a cover letter and updated resume to Carreanne Eyler at [email protected] as soon as possible.