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Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program

Tax Credits to Vermont Property Owners to Enhance
Historic Buildings in Eligible Commercial Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)

Deadline Date:

07/01/20 Close of Business (4:30 PM)


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Tax credits to Vermont property owners and lessees for projects that enhance income-producing historic and older structures in eligible village centers and downtown areas. The federal and state tax credits are intended to help stimulate private investment, create jobs, restore buildings, and jumpstart revitalization in Vermont communities. Eligible uses of funds are for general rehabilitation, code compliance, and exterior improvements that enhance the historic character of a building or increase the safety of older and historic commercial sites.

Description of credits available through the program:  

  • 10% Historic Tax Credit: Available only for approved Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit projects. This credit is not capped; however, the first $500,000, and half of the costs exceeding $500,000, are eligible for the credit. Work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (see Appendix C).
  • 25% Façade Improvement Tax Credit: Available for exterior repairs and/or improvements to the front (public) façade of a qualified building. Up to $100,000 in eligible costs for a maximum of $25,000 in credits is available. Projects eligible for the 10% historic credit above are ineligible for façade credits. Work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (see Appendix C).
  • 50% Code Improvement Tax Credit: Available for investments made to bring buildings into compliance with current building codes. Credit allocations are up to $75,000 for elevators, up to $50,000 for sprinkler systems, up to $60,000 for limited use/limited application elevators (LULAs) and up to $12,000 for lifts. Other code work to meet ADA requirements, electrical or plumbing codes, and the abatement of hazardous substances like lead paint and asbestos is eligible for a credit allocation of up to $50,000 for the combined costs of these improvements. Code credit projects must be inspected by state code officials or, where authorized, a municipal fire marshal or building inspector.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172538

Estimated Size of Grant:

The amount of the credit is based on total rehabilitation costs. The federal credit is 20% of eligible rehabilitation expenses. The state credit is between 10% and 50% of eligible rehabilitation expenses. However, there is an annual cap, and selection criteria are applied to ensure the credits are allocated to projects that provide the most public benefit. When taxpayers receive allocations under both programs, the return can be as high as 70% of eligible rehabilitation expenses.

Term of Contract:

Projects selected for funding must be completed and the applicant must claim the tax credit within three years from the date of this allocation.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Eligible Applicant: Owners or lessees of a qualified building may apply for credits, including non-profit organizations. Federal, state and local governments are not eligible for tax credits.
- Eligible Building: Buildings at least 30 years old at the time of application, located within a Designated Downtown or Village Center, and not used as a single-family residence.
- Minimum Expenditure: Total project costs must exceed $5,000 for any of the tiers of credits to apply.
- Application Time Frames: Applicants are encouraged to apply before work begins; however, they may apply for work that is underway. Projects completed before July 1, 2020 are not eligible.
- Combining Credits: The 10% historic and 25% façade improvement credits may not be used on the same project. The 50% code improvement credit may be combined with either the 10% historic or 25% façade improvement credit, provided the applicant does not claim credits more than once on any eligible expenditure. Applicants intending to use more than one category of credits must do so on a single 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.

Projects that involve Brownfield Mitigation require evidence that the project is enrolled in the BRELLA program and has an approved Corrective Action Plan from the Agency of Natural Resources.

Projects that do not meet the Standards for Rehabilitation will not be considered. To verify:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due July 1, 2020 by close of business (4:30 pm).

Allocation decisions will be made by the Downtown Development Board (Downtown Board) at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on July 20, 2020.

Contact program staff before the deadline to discuss any delays in submitting application materials due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

To inquire if the property is eligible, email Caitlin Corkins or enter the building's street address in the Planning Atlas Viewer found in Additional Geographic Information found below.

For specific advice on a project, staff is available to meet on site and discuss how the Standards for Rehabilitation apply to individual projects. Some projects may require working with the Department of Public Safety or a locally designated Fire Marshal and/or Building Inspector. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Caitlin Corkins to schedule a meeting to discuss specific project details and meeting the Standards before work begins.

Downtown Designation:

Village Center Designation:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applications should be submitted electronically to:
Caitlin Corkins, Tax Credits & Grants Coordinator

Mailing Address:

Department of Housing and Community Development
One National Life Drive
Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501

Grant Coverage Areas:

For property eligibility, see the Planning Atlas Viewer at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont

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