2020 Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Guidelines and Application
• Maximum Amount: Projects within a single municipality may not receive more than $780,000 in tax
credits per fiscal year (30% of the total cap).
• Limitations: Buildings receiving tax credits are ineligible for additional tax credits for two years from
the date of the initial allocation. The sales tax reallocation program for Designated Downtowns may
not be combined with any of the tax credits on the same project.
PRESERVATION STANDARDS AND DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
Projects funded through this program must meet the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation (see
Appendix C). The Downtown Board assumes that some alteration of older or historic buildings will occur to
provide for contemporary use. However, the project must not damage, destroy, or cover materials or features
that help define a building’s historic character. Projects using inappropriate man-made materials, that include
incompatible window replacements, or that damage, destroy or obscure historic features are ineligible for tax
credits. General design guidance is provided below.
• Storefront Alterations: Historic storefronts should be repaired when possible. Where historic
storefronts were previously altered beyond recognition or are missing entirely, new storefronts should
be contemporary, but compatible. Justify changes to storefronts and provide photographs of areas to
be altered. Information should be provided on when the existing storefront was constructed; what the
existing physical conditions are; and, if a historical treatment is planned, on what evidence the
proposed new storefront designs are based. Storefront changes that alter the character of the structure
and its relationship with the street or that destroy historic materials may result in a project being
ineligible for tax credits.
• New Windows: When historic windows exist, they should be repaired when possible. If they are
beyond reasonable repair, replacement windows must match the design, visual qualities, and
materials of the historic window. The quality of the match on street-facing sides of the building is more
important than the match on an obscured rear or side elevation. Installation of vinyl replacement
windows or inappropriate windows disqualifies an applicant from tax credits.
• Interior Partitions and Finishes: When storefront alterations affect interior partitions, indicate the
existing condition of the interior area to be affected and document it with photographs. Show which
walls are to be removed or altered and note whether existing trim elements will be affected. Projects
should not change floor plans unnecessarily or expose masonry or structural members unless this
condition is supported by historic evidence.
• Exterior Masonry Repair: Owners are encouraged to re-point only those portions of the masonry that
require repair. If determined necessary, indicate deteriorated areas that require repair and provide
evidence that re- pointing mortar will match the original in composition (i.e., ratio of lime, cement, sand
and any additives, color, texture, and tooling.) Mortars with high percentage of Portland cement may
not be acceptable as they are too hard for many old bricks and cause the bricks to crumble or spall.
Specifications and re-pointing samples should be reviewed and approved before proceeding with this
• Exterior Masonry Cleaning: Masonry should only be cleaned to halt deterioration or to remove graffiti
and stains. If cleaning is necessary, is must be done using the gentlest means possible without
damaging the surface of the masonry and in accordance with the guidance found in
1, The Cleaning and Waterproof Coating of Masonry Buildings. Specifications and test cleaning
samples should be reviewed and approved before proceeding with this work.
• New Additions and New Construction: New exterior additions may alter the appearance and form of
historic buildings and may make projects ineligible. Similarly, new construction, including site work,
may affect the relationship of a building to its site or otherwise damage the historic character of the
property. Applicants should consult with Downtown Program staff before undertaking projects involving
• Non-Historic Building Renovations: Work on buildings that are not historic does not need to
meet the Standards. However, work completed should be compatible with the surrounding
district. Applicants are encouraged to consult with Downtown Program staff in advance.