Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

The historic rehabilitation tax credit: A US state-by-state analysis

Lauren Calderaro


In this paper, I test relationships between the historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) and three possible explanatory factors to examine why and when states choose to adopt the historic tax credit law. The three factors that I test for this study are personal income tax rates, the number of national historic landmarks in each state, and the historic tax credit law enactment years. After testing the relationships between these three factors and the historic tax credit, I find a weak relationship between personal income tax rates and historic tax credit amounts. Aside from this, my results are inconclusive. Additionally, I examine individual states’ press releases surrounding their enactments of the historic tax credit laws to help determine why a state may adopt the law. While each state may have their own rationale as to why they enacted the HTC, there is a widespread understanding that the historic tax credit serves as an economic stimulator for towns as communities, as well as a historic preservation and revitalization tool. This research helps to further our understanding of various incentives for enacting the tax credit law, as well as whether certain explanatory factors have an impact on the amount of tax credit offered.