Louisiana State Residential Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Louisiana tax credits header for blog post

I can’t believe I have not posted about the Louisiana Residential Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit process on my blog! Wow. Ok, so here goes.  This is information on the Residential Historic Rehabilitation Residential Tax Credit program for the State of Louisiana (and more specifically, Alexandria, LA). I have included links to the boundaries of the local historic districts in Alexandria, the PowerPoint presentation explaining the program; and a really unfortunate and corny video I did for speech class a couple years back.  The poor video had to have certain pieces in order for me to get the grade. I had to have an audience, I had to start out with a song, so forgive the unnecessary elements of the video and fast forward to :25 so you can concentrate on the presentation portion. If you have any questions, you can contact me, or the State office. The wonderful people who administer the Historic Rehabilitation program for the State of Louisiana are always on hand to answer questions, are patient and I truly enjoyed working with them. So, if you have any questions, you can also contact them.

KEEP IN MIND: This process is for the RESIDENTIAL program only. I do have knowledge of how the commercial credits are supposed to work. That is a different process and a different percentage. I have not had personal experience with that process and decline to comment on how it works.  I have had personal experience with the residential program and can vouch that it worked/will work, exactly how it is outlined.

Without further ado:

Powerpoint Presentation :Louisiana State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

Louisiana State Office PDF Flyer: LA Tax Incentive breakdown pdf

Alexandria, Louisiana, Local Historic and Cultural Districts

For National Register districts or individual listings click here to search: National Register of Historic Places

Here is the official link to the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development Division of Historic Preservation where you start the process. All of the applications and information is listed on this page.

In depth answers regarding the Louisiana State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.

And last but not least, my very unfortunate video.  If you would like to bypass the most annoying part, fast forward to :25.  If you want to follow along with what I am presenting, you will need to have the Powerpoint open or printed out and have either read or have handy the above PDF. I saved it for last, because if you have read the information above, it really is not necessary.  However, if you are visual and like to have the information presented to you, here you go: Youtube Video, explanation of program

If you live in Louisiana, but you do not live in a locally designated historic area, or a National Register historic district, or a building or home that is in a National Register historic district, but you feel your home is historic. What you would need to do in order to be eligible for the program is create a local historic district through your municipality. It can either be designated as such by your City Council, your Police Jury, or whatever municipal authority your home is under. I have never done this and do not know what is required. You do have to present the information to the municipality and then either you or them, or maybe a cooperative group, drafts the necessary paperwork for it to be adopted and made an ordinance and then filed with the assessor’s office and the State of Louisiana.  If anyone has ever done this before, feel free to leave a comment.  Another thing you could do is ascertain whether or not your house would be eligible for listing on the National Register.  If it is, you can take the necessary steps to try to have it listed. Please visit the National Register site (link posted above) for more information on that process.

Revitalization of Neighborhoods/Historic Districts/Tax Credits

Well, the whole purpose of starting this blog was to advocate for our blighted Alexandria neighborhoods.  I myself live in a blighted home on a blighted street.  I applied and received the certification to receive state tax credits to the sum of 15% after all approved projects have been completed.  It took me a year to find a general contractor who was crazy enough to take on the task of helping us rehabilitate the home.  We were also preapproved for our construction loan….I am thinking, this is going too well and too good to be true.

BINGO!  It was going too smoothly to not hit a rut somewhere.  We finally received our appraisal and after two years of searching for a contractor and six months of bank paperwork, due to: 1) Our house being in a blighted area with low site value; 2) the age of the home; 3) no homes that compare to ours being sold in the area in the past year, we received a very low appraisal and cannot even borrow enough money to fix it.  Now, on the other hand, since we have good credit and jobs, they would be more than happy to put us in a cookie cutter McMansion down the street where our house probably won’t outlive our mortgage, but at this time, they cannot finance the repairs our home really needs.

Phooey….no wonder people don’t buy older homes.  You have to have a stack of cash under your mattress to finance the materials to do the repairs yourself, or a stack of cash to hire someone to do it.  Needless to say, we are your average income Americans, and do not have a stack of cash put back to finance the magnitude of repairs that really need to be done to our house.  This is the third house we have renovated, but all of the others were under 1700 square feet.  This big mama is 4000 square feet!

It helps that we are on the edge of a historic district and are able to receive tax credits, but you have to spend the money in order to get it back.  I have preached that we need to save our old historic homes, but in light of all of the hurdles we have had to conquer in buying and insuring the house, then trying to fund repairing it, what incentives are there to take on this kind of project?  Is it really worth it? 

Obviously, that is the problem here in our blighted neighborhoods.  All of the good intentions will never get you anywhere.  The people with the cash don’t want to live in this neighborhood and, people like my husband and I (middle income family and very average) can’t convince the bank to loan us the money – no matter how good our credit score or jobs are.  This is the entire reason these homes have fallen into disrepair.  It is just not easy to do alone and when you have the realtor, loan officer, appraiser, etc., stacked against you, who wants to tackle an old home? 

I am going to have to sit back and think about what the next plan of action is going to be.  If ya see me up on the roof plugging holes to keep out the rain, beep your horn!  It’ll let me know you sympathize and maybe even care!  🙂