Reauthorize the Colorado Commercial Historic Preservation Tax Credit

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2018 Reauthorization Effort Representative Esgar and Representative McKean

Senator Tate and Senator Garcia

(Reps. Arndt, KC Becker, Caitlin, Covarrubias, Duran, Hansen, Hooton, Lawrence, Liston, McLachlan, Michaelson Janet, Rankin, Reyher, Roberts, Rosenthal, Singer, Thurlow, Winter and Sens. Coram, Crowder, Donovan, Grantham, Fenberg, Martinez Humenik and Priola)



The Commercial Historic Preservation Tax Credit was established in 2014 following the passage of HB14-1311 with overwhelming bipartisan support. The credit was set at $10 million annually, with $5 million for small projects and

$5 million for larger projects. The credit aimed at spurring investment in communities throughout the state, and the specific carve out for small projects helps ensure that rural communities are well represented. It is jointly administered by History Colorado and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.


Although the tax credit has only been in place for two and a half years, the impacts from the program are visible throughout rural and urban Colorado. Since the program went into effect, tax credit recipients have used the credit to kick start 52 commercial projects across the state. Tax credit projects span the state from Trinidad to Telluride, Greeley to Walsenburg, and across the Front Range. Cities utilizing the program range from Victor (403) to Denver (682,000).

Economic impact from the $18.8 million in credits reserved by applicants to date includes:

  • $170 million in rehabilitation costs
  • 808 new full-time jobs with $34 million payroll added
  • $13.2 million in total sales tax (in addition to the sales taxes generated by the economic activity of these revitalized buildings)
  • $246 million increase in property values post rehab
  • $17.9 million income generated for property owners
  • $36 million spent by owners on additional capital improvements after initial rehab


The program is already on track to leverage the full amount approved by the legislature’s initial establishment of the program. As the program has gained traction, interest from rural communities has continued to blossom. We know of potential projects under consideration in the communities of La Junta, Brush, Leadville, and Yuma. The program has proven to be valuable in spurring economic development in communities big and small.

Continuation of this program will help additional rural and blighted communities across Colorado utilize this credit as a tool for rehabilitation to preserve the past and drive future economic potential.

The 2018 reauthorization effort includes:

  • Continue the credit at $10 million annually, with $5 million for small projects and $5 million for larger projects.
  • Additional incentives (35% credit) for projects in rural areas.
  • Adjustments to current qualifiers for the program to remove obstacles for small projects in rural areas such as adjusting the lease requirement for rural projects and replacing a complicated formula to

determine ‘qualified rehabilitation expenditures’ with a flat amount.

  • Separating the residential and commercial tax credit in statute to provide clarity to taxpayers about the specific rules for each
  • Technical program changes to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of program

Scott Chase,, (303) 324-1121 | Christine Staberg,, (303) 868-8979 |

Jeannie Vanderburg,, (303) 249-8150



American Institute of Architects Colorado Chapter Brush Chamber of Commerce

City of Cripple Creek City of Lafayette City of Leadville City of Longmont

City of Pueblo Certified Local Government

City of Steamboat Springs Historic Preservation Commission City of Trinidad

Colorado Competitive Council Colorado Counties Inc Colorado Municipal League Colorado Preservation Inc

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Douglas County Business Alliance Economic Development Council of Colorado

Goodnight Barn Historic Preservation Committee Hartman Ely Investments LLC

Historic Denver Historic Greeley

Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs Historic Pueblo

Historic Routt County

La Junta Urban Renewal Authority Louisville Historic Preservation Commission

National Trust for Historic Preservation, Denver Field Office Poudre Landmarks Foundation of Fort Collins

Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum

Town of Lake City