Skip navigation

Photo of house in historic district

State Historic Preservation Income Tax Credits

Colorado offers a state income tax credit to property owners for preservation and rehabilitation work on designated historic properties. 

Denver Landmark Preservation staff processes state income tax credit applications for historic properties within the City and County of Denver. Owners are advised to obtain appropriate tax advice to ensure that all requirements are met. 

Residential "Non-Income Producing" Projects Commercial "Income Producing" Projects

The tax credit for residential projects is 20% of the qualified rehabilitation costs up to a maximum $50,000 credit per qualified property for a ten year period. 

 

 

The State of Colorado offers up to a 25% credit and a higher maximum credit than the residential program. For information on this program, visit the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade website
Is a Certificate of Appropriateness required?

Projects that involve changes to the exterior of landmark structures or properties in historic landmark districts may require review by Landmark Preservation staff or the Landmark Preservation Commission before you begin construction. Contact Landmark Preservation staff if you are unsure if design review is required for your project.

If your tax credit project does require design review, we encourage you to complete the design review process and obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness before submitting your application for the applicable tax credit program. A Certificate of Appropriateness does not guarantee approval of your tax credit application.

Applications for either of the Denver-administered tax credit programs will not be considered complete until a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued for any applicable exterior work included in the tax credit project.

Visit the Design Review web page for information on the design review process and how to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Residential "Non-Income Producing" Properties

(1) Properties must be at least 50 years old and historically designated by one of the following: 

  • National Register of Historic Places 
  • Colorado State Register
  • City and County of Denver - designated as an individual landmark, or as a "contributing" property (historic property) in a designated historic district. (See landmark map to determine the status of your property. If you are unsure if your property is a "contributing" property in a historic district, contact Landmark Preservation staff.)

(2) Applicants must be owner-occupants of the property, owners that do not earn income from the property, or tenants with leases of five or more years.

(3) Projects must involve physical preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of historic buildings. A project can include multiple work items.

(4) Eligible work can only include what is listed in the Historic Preservation Income Tax Credit - Residential Program Customer Guide (PDF) in the section "Qualified Expenses." If the type of work is not listed in the guide, it is not eligible for tax credits. 

Landmark Preservation staff can also help you determine if work items are eligible.

(5) Projects must preserve the historic character of the property and  meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.

Landmark Preservation staff and the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission will review your application to ensure that these standards are met.

(6) Rehabilitation costs must be over $5,000. 

You can reach the $5,000 minimum through one work item or multiple smaller work items.

(7) If the project is a Denver landmark or located in a locally-designated historic district, all exterior work items must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness.  

See Design Review page to learn how to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.

(8) Projects should not be underway at time of application.

While the tax credit rules technically allow applicants to apply for the program if work has started within 24 months prior to project application, application submittal does not guarantee project approval. Applicants who submit an application after beginning work run the risk of project disapproval if program requirements are not met.

Submit your completed application (see submission instructions at the bottom of this page) and pay the required fee prior to beginning work.

  • Landmark Preservation staff will review the application within 90 calendar days and will contact you if the application is incomplete or if additional information is needed to complete the review. In some cases, Landmark Preservation staff will need to perform a site visit to review the proposed scope of work.

Once a Part I application has been received and reviewed, Landmark Preservation staff will place the item on the next available agenda of the Landmark Preservation Commission for approval. The applicant is notified of the approval status within 90 days (typically within 45 days) of receipt of a complete application.

Once LPC approval is granted, work can proceed.

For residential projects with Part I Applications approved AFTER October 1, 2015: There is no deadline to complete the project but the Part II application must be submitted to Landmark Preservation within 120 days of completion of the project.

For residential projects with Part I Applications approved BEFORE October 1, 2015: The project must be completed within 24 months of the Part I tax credit approval (note that one extension up to 24 months may be obtained under certain conditions). The Part II Application also must be submitted to Landmark Preservation within 60 days of completion of the project.   

(1) Ensure that work detailed in Part II applications matches the scope submitted in the Part I application.

(2) Complete and submit Part II application. (See submission instructions at the bottom of this page.)

(3) Landmark Preservation staff will review Part II application within 90 calendar days. 

Staff will notify applicants if the application is incomplete or if additional information is needed to complete the review. In some cases, Landmark Preservation staff will need to perform a site visit to review the proposed scope of work. If Landmark staff finds that the application is incomplete the applicant will have 90 days to provide additional information.

(4) Once a complete Part II application is received, Landmark Preservation staff will place the item on the next available agenda of the Landmark Preservation Commission for approval.   

(5) Landmark Preservation staff issues final certificate of approval or disapproval.

Once applicant receives tax credit certificate from Landmark Preservation staff, applicant must file the tax credit with the State of Colorado to offset taxes due in year of tax credit approval. 

The property owner is responsible for requesting tax credits by submitting Form 104CR to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The approval certificate issued by Landmark Preservation staff must be attached to your Colorado income tax return.

Applicants are advised to obtain the necessary tax and legal advice to ensure that they qualify for the state income tax credit.

For more information, contact Landmark Preservation staff at landmark@denvergov.org or 720-865-2709.  Additional information on state income tax credits can be found at the History Colorado website.

Submit Your Application

Complete the required application and submit it, along with any supporting materials, by email to landmark@denvergov.org.  Your submission should include two attachments:

  • PDF with the completed form ("yourname-app.pdf") 
  • PDF that combines all supporting materials ("yourname-app-materials.pdf")

File size should not exceed more than 25 MB combined. Contact us if you are having trouble with your electronic submission.

Every project is different. Depending upon the complexity and specifics of your project, process and time frame may vary from the information presented on this website and in the application materials. If you have any questions, please contact us.

NOTE: All materials submitted with your application become the property the City and County of Denver. The materials are part of public record, can be used in a public hearing, and cannot be returned.