New Michigan State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Bill Introduced

Join and get involved with the MI Impact Coalition, as we work to bring back Michigan’s State Rehab Tax Credit.  Senate Bill 469 (S1) passed the Senate on December 13th. House Bill 5178 (HB 5178) has also been introduced to reinstate the Michigan Historic Preservation Tax Credit. These bills would reinstate the popular program that offers a credit of up to 25 percent of rehabilitation expenses against state income tax.

MI Impact – MI Historic Tax Credits

SB 469 Passes!

We are thrilled to share that on Wednesday, December 13, 2017,  SB 469 was passed by the Senate with 36 “Yes” and 2 “No” (Senator Shirkey and Senator Stamas). Thank you so much for your participation in this important initiative. This would not happen without your support and effort. Please contact your Senator to thank them for voting positively on this Bill.

The next step will be moving forward with Members of the House. HB 5178 has been assigned to the House Tax Policy Committee. It has not been heard in the committee yet. Please contact your Representative to share the benefits of the state historic tax credit in their district and ask for their support of HB 5178, particularly if they are on the Tax Policy Committee. We will keep you informed on the updates.

Thank you so much for your support! Happy Holidays.

-MHPN Staff

Hearing in Senate Finance Committee – November 28, 2017

Thank you for your continued support of the efforts to reinstate the State tax credits. We learned today that tomorrow (Tuesday 11/28),  there will be a Senate Finance Committee meeting at 2:30 pm and SB 469 is expected to be heard and voted on. If the bill passes out of committee, it will then go on to the full Senate in the future. 

For tomorrow,  Committee Chairman Jack Brandenburg has a very full agenda in the Senate Finance committee and has asked that testimony be limited to Senator Schmidt and Nancy Finegood.  However, the committee is willing to accept cards of support to be added to the committee record.  

To express your support:

–If you are able to attend the committee meeting and can submit a card of support, please do so. (Tuesday, 2:30 pm, room 1100, Binsfeld Building, Lansing)

–If you aren’t available to attend the hearing in person and would like to be on the record in support of SB 469, please provide the following information and MHPN will submit cards on your behalf: your name, affiliation/company/organization if you are representing one, address, and email address.  MHPN will need this info by 11 am on Tuesday.  

–Please contact each member of the Senate Finance Committee.  Attached are the profiles of the Senate Finance Committee members.  Please contact each member and ask them to support SB 469.  If you are a constituent in their district, please identify yourself as such. A sample letter you can adapt for an email is attached, but please customize it.  Please also send a copy of your letter to Thank you very much for your support!

Nancy Finegood
Executive Director
Michigan Historic Preservation Network

Senate Finance Committee Profiles

Sample Senator Letter

Reinstatement of Historic Preservation Tax Credit Introduced in Michigan Senate and House

A bill to reinstate the Michigan Historic Preservation Tax Credit has been introduced both in the State Senate and in the State House of Representatives. Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-37, Traverse City), and House Bill 5178 (Rep. Ben Frederick, sponsor) would reinstate the popular program that offers a credit of up to 25 percent of rehabilitation expenses against state income tax liability.

The tax credit, which was an integral part of building restoration projects from Detroit to Menominee, was phased out in 2011 as part of the Snyder administration’s plan to eliminate most tax credits. Over the program’s 12-year life, the credits leveraged $251 million in federal tax credits, led to the creation of 36,000 jobs, and incentivized $1.46 billion in direct rehab expenses.

These bills will bring back one of the most valuable tools to level the financial playing field for historic preservation projects – and the only tool available for those restoring owner-occupied homes. Historic preservation projects have been a key part of nearly every successful “revitalization” story in Michigan, and have helped make Michigan places more attractive, more economically viable, and more emotionally engaging with both residents and visitors. This tax credit is a powerful tool to save historic resources and improve communities.

The economic impacts of this historic preservation economic development tool are well documented:

  • Each $1.00 of credit issued leverages $11.37 in direct economic impact.
  • The state historic preservation tax credit has leveraged $251 million in federal historic tax credits. These are federal dollars coming back into Michigan’s economy!
  • Michigan historic tax credits make formerly impossible projects feasible. They put underutilized and core urban real estate back on local and state tax rolls.

These programs are used to fill gaps in the financing of rehabilitation real estate projects and are issued only after rehabilitation expenses are incurred. Therefore, projects generate significant economic impact and state and local tax revenue before the credits are issued.

Michigan’s historic tax credit program is one of the state’s most useful tools for revitalizing older communities. The credits make rehabilitation projects possible, and those projects drive economic growth in Michigan.


Read the full text of Senate Bill 469Preview Changes (opens in a new window)
Michigan State Senate lookup 
Senate Finance Committee membership 

Read the full text of  House Bill 5117
Read the full text of House Bill 5178

Michigan House of Representatives lookup

Read the MHPN June 2017 Press Release 
Some successful case studies

Coalition Kick-off Materials
Support the effort – complete the MI Impact Coalition Commitment Form Today! 

Tax Credit Background Information (pdf)
Sample Letter to Legislators (word)
Sample Resolution for SB 469 and HB 5178(word)

Press Releases

MI Impact Coalition_11.13.2017

Community Resolutions

City of Adrian_11.20.2017
Buchanan Preservation Society_11.12.2017
City of Buchanan_8.14.2017
City of Charlevoix
City of Detroit_7.18.2017
Huntington Woods_11.22.2017
Village of Leonard_12.11.2017
Ypsilanti City Council & Cover letter

Coalitition to Reinstate Michigan Historic Preservation Tax Credit

As you know, the Michigan Historic Preservation Tax Credit was an important tool to drive economic revitalization and leverage investment in historic properties throughout Michigan.  That credit was eliminated in 2011, but Senator Wayne Schmidt has introduced
legislation to reinstate it (SB 469). 

Please join us for lunch Wednesday, November 8, at noon to kick off the coalition to reinstate the Michigan Historic Preservation Tax Credit.  Each of you plays a strategic role in the passage of this critical legislation–please join us to learn how you can support the effort. Please RSVP to by Fri 11/3.

Wednesday, 11/8/17, 12:00 noon
Michigan Municipal League Offices
Christman Building, 1st Floor
208 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing  48933

We look forward to seeing you there! If you are unable to join us 11/8, but would still like to be involved in the effort, please let us know that as well.  Thank you!

June 23, 2017

Michigan Historic Preservation Network Backs Tax Credit Legislation

            LANSING – The Michigan Historic Preservation Network has announced its support of a Michigan Senate bill that will revive the state’s historic preservation tax credit. The bill, SB 469, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) [co-sponsored by Senators Horn, Zorn, O’Brien, and Hertel] would effectively reinstate the tax credit program Michigan had in place from 1999 until 2011.

            The bill offers a tax credit of up to 25 percent of qualified rehabilitation expenses for contributing commercial and residential properties located within a local historic district. As it did previously it offers a supplemental five percent credit to the 20 percent federal historic preservation credit for income producing properties, and is the only credit available for owner-occupied historic homes.

            “From Mackinac Island to the district surrounding Detroit’s Fox Theatre, historic preservation projects have helped make Michigan places more attractive, more economically viable and more emotionally engaging with both residents and visitors,” says Nancy Finegood, executive director of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. “From 1999 until 2011, many of those success stories were made possible by the Michigan Historic Preservation Tax Credit.”

            “Making a historic building compliant with contemporary codes is often more costly than new construction. So for far too long, the only ‘incentives’ to encourage preservation were aesthetic and historic. This program offers a tangible economic incentive, as well … one that was used very successfully for more than a decade.”

             Over its 11-year life, the program leveraged $71 million in credits to generate more than $1.46 billion in investment in Michigan rehabilitation projects. It also leveraged an additional $219 million in federal tax credits, and led to the creation of 36,000 jobs.

            Among the projects the credit helped enable were the Nisbett Building in Big Rapids, the Mutual Building in Lansing, the Book Cadillac Hotel and Vernor Apartments in Detroit, the Temple Theatre in Saginaw and the Durant Apartments in Flint.

Finegood says MHPN, a statewide preservation advocacy group, strongly supports Senator Schmidt’s bill. “This will once again help make the historic properties that give our communities their unique character and sense of place economically viable.”

Draft SB 469

Draft Resolution Template for Michigan Entities to Express their Support of SB 469

Information Sheet_8.15.2017

Action Alert sent 7.17.2017

Press Release_6.23.2017

Email Blast_6.23.2017

Want to reach out to your Michigan State Senator?   Check out the Find Your Senator Page. 


Could Michigan See a New Historic Preservation Tax Credit? (Please?) Michigan Future blog, August 2, 2017