Funding & Incentives

Tax Incentives

Adams Damn 1.jpg

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit Programs

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. It creates jobs and is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. It has leveraged more than $102.64 billion in private investment to preserve 45,383 historic properties since 1976. The National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service administer the program in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices.

The program permits the owner of an income-producing historic building to
seek an income-tax credit equal to 20% of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures. An
income-producing property may encompass commercial space, office space, rental
apartments, a bed and breakfast inn, etc., or a mixture of such uses. The building must
be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a
contributing property of a historic district. Further, the rehabilitation must meet the
Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.


National Trust Community Investment Corporation

The NTCIC is an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is among the largest tax credit syndicators in America. The organization supports the country's architectural heritage, community development, and renewable energy initiatives through the provision of Federal and State Historic Preservation, Low-Income Housing, Renewable Energy, and New Markets Tax Credits.

Web link:

Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

The Delaware State Historic Preservation Office (DE SHPO) administers this state
incentive program.


Delaware Downtown Development District (DDD) Rebate

The Downtown Development Districts Act was created to leverage state resources in a
limited number of designated areas in Delaware's cities and towns to:

  • spur private capital investment in commercial business districts and other
  • stimulate job growth and improve the commercial vitality of our cities and towns,
  • help build a stable community of long-term residents in our downtowns and other

Funding has been allocated through the General Assembly to Delaware State Housing
Authority (DSHA) for the purpose of establishing and administering the DDD Rebate

Program. Investors who make Qualified Real Property Investments (QRPI) to
commercial, industrial, residential, and mixed-use buildings or facilities may apply to
DSHA for a DDD Rebate. The DDD program, administered for each certified district by
the Delaware State Housing Authority, supports large and small development projects
with rebates of up to 20% of qualified costs. This program can be layered with the
Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, for qualified historic properties
within DDD districts.


Kent County Tax Credit Program for Historic Properties

This program offers tax credits for historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places based on preservation, rehabilitation, and/or restoration projects involving exterior improvements to the architectural facades of buildings. It is a tool to encourage visible rehabilitation and helps to protect elements of Kent County's heritage by encouraging investment in and continued use of existing buildings.


For guidance, contact the Historic Preservation Planner:
Kent County Department of Planning
414 Federal Street, Room 320
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 744-2471
(302) 736-2128 fax

New Castle County Tax Credit Program for Historic Properties

Properties within New Castle County zoning jurisdiction that are listed on the National
Register of Historic Places or within the bounds of an Historic overlay zoning district
may be eligible for historic tax credits on County property tax. For more information on
the New Castle County Historic Tax Credit Program, contact Betsy Hatch, Preservation

Wilmington Property Tax Exemption Incentive Program

Properties which are on the National Register of Historic Places or within a City Historic District (overlay zoning) are eligible for this incentive program, which amounts to abatement of any increased tax assessment resulting from a substantial and qualified rehabilitation or new construction. There is no maximum increased valuation limit. Renovation of an existing structure carries an abatement period of 10 years from the date of the increased assessment; new construction carries an abatement period of 5 years. The work must meet City Historic District requirements and the City’s Finance Director must approve a documentation package. The ordinance may be viewed from the City’s website. Contact the Department of Planning if you intend to apply.


Other Funding & Grant Assistance

Delaware Preservation Fund

The Delaware Preservation Fund, a program of Preservation Delaware, provides financial assistance to owners of historic properties, usually in the form of small grants and loans for rehabilitation or restoration. Seed money for the Fund was provided through the Delaware General Assembly and the Longwood and Welfare Foundations.  The Delaware Preservation Fund aims to assist in preserving the architectural heritage and the historic built environment of Delaware through financial assistance to owners of such properties through small grants.

The Fund’s programs target buildings which are on or eligible for listing on the National Registerof Historic Places, or which are located in or deemed eligible for a designated local or county historic district. Historic resources, such as ships, railroad items, fountains, cemeteries or statuary that may be listed individually, or which contribute to local or National Register historic districts, also qualify for consideration.  The grant fund now also allows applications for planning studies and National Register nominations. All work funded must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.


Delaware Community Foundation Capital Projects Grants

Grants will support construction, renovation or repair of buildings, and/or land purchases, so nonprofits statewide can operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Generally, grants will not exceed $20,000 other than on rare occasions due to their exceptional merits, based on the discretion of the DCF Grants Committee. Grants will support organizations and initiatives so all Delaware residents can overcome barriers to success, benefit equitably, and thrive.


National Trust Preservation Funds Grant Program

This grant fund at the National Trust is awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies primarily for planning and education projects.

Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for preservation projects. Some funding is specifically restricted to support Delaware projects and programs. Grants are awarded annually in three competitive rounds with the following deadlines:

  • February 1
  • June 1
  • October 1

For more information on this program and learn how to apply, please read the guidelines and eligibility parameters.

Additional National Trust Special Grant Programs

In addition to the National Trust Preservation Funds, the National Trust operates a series of more specific funds with various deadlines throughout the year including:

  • Battlefield Preservation Fund
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors
  • Emergency/Intervention Funding
  • Hart Family Fund for Small Towns
  • Henry A. Jordan, M.D., Preservation Excellence Fund - Mid-Atlantic States
  • Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation
  • Peter H. Brink Leadership Fund
  • Telling the Full History Preservation Fund

Learn more about these fund guidelines and deadlines.

National Fund for Sacred Places

The National Fund for Sacred Places is a program of Partners for Sacred Places in
collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Fund provides:

  •  grants for the planning and execution of urgent capital projects at historic
    churches that are valued for their cultural importance as well as their role in
    providing human services, strengthening communities, and revitalizing
  •  training, capacity-building and technical assistance to ensure that grant-funded
    projects are successfully planned and implemented.


Other Incentives

New Castle County Historic Marker Program


The Historic Marker Program is an honorary method to recognize New Castle County’s officially designated historic resources located within the bounds of a New Castle County Historic Overlay Zoning district. For more information or to find out if your property is eligible or could become eligible,please review the Historic Marker Program Application.

Tax Benefits for Historic Preservation Easements

A historic preservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement, typically in the form of a deed, that permanently protects an historic property. Through the easement, a property owner places restrictions on the development of or changes to the historic property, then transfers these restrictions to a preservation or conservation organization
or government entity. A historic property owner who donates an easement may be eligible for tax benefits, such as a Federal income tax deduction. Easement rules are complex, so property owners interested in the potential tax benefits of an easement donation should consult with their accountant or tax attorney. Learn more about easements in Easements to Protect Historic Properties: A Useful Historic Preservation Tool with Potential Tax Benefits.

Delaware Distressed Cemetery Fund

The Distressed Cemetery Fund (Fund) is a state fund that was established in 2009 (29 Del. C. §7901A) under the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, to assist owners or volunteers of cemeteries who meet the definition of a distressed cemetery and who do not have the necessary funds to complete the proposed work.

To learn more please visit:  Guidelines for Distressed Cemetery Fund.

Become A


Join Our

Mailing List