Tax Credit FAQ

Important Update!

Due to the City’s current technology issues, CHAP and the Department of Finance have developed a temporary system to move tax credit reviews along.  Please the [email protected] email to submit your preliminary applications and final certification submissions. Please use the following these instructions so we can review your application as quickly as possible. Please follow the Department of Planning on social media or subscribe to the Department's e-blasts for updates. Contact information for individual CHAP staffers are available here

FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS

  • Please try to send ONE email per property. If you have problems sending this material via email, please contact us.

  • If you are submitting a new application or final certification material that was not uploaded to the online system, please note that once the system becomes operational again, we will request that you upload your information to the online system. You will not lose your place in the queue.

  • Per our usual process, we will contact you with any questions about your application. Letters will be emailed from the [email protected] address.

  • We will still review applications in the order that they were received. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work around our current technology issues.

FOR APPLICATIONS/PRELIMINARY REVIEWS

  1. Please write the address of the property and "APPLICATION" in the title of your email (for example 123 West Street APPLICATION).

  2. Please write the address of the property in the body of the email.

  3. Please write the name and number and email of the main point of contact for the project and of the person to contact to schedule an appraisal. If the property is commercial, you must obtain your own.

  4. Please attach the following items to the email:

    1. Photographs of the entire property, inside and out. Please submit in a zip folder or in one document.

    2. Plans if a building elevation or interior layout will be altered in any way, or if you are constructed.

    3. A detailed scope of work that provides a comprehensive overview of the proposed project.

5) You must still submit the $50 review fee, which is a check made to the Director of Finance, Baltimore City with the address of the property in the memo line. Checks can be mailed or hand delivered to:

Historic Tax Credit Program

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, MD 21202

FOR FINAL CERTIFICATION SUBMISSIONS

  1. Please write the address of the property and "FINAL" in the title of your email (for example 456 East Street FINAL).

  2. Please write the address of the property in the title and body of the email.

  3. Please indicate in the email if your submission is in response to a notice of expiration.

  4. Please write the name and number and email of the main point of contact for the project and of the person to contact to schedule an appraisal.

  5. Please attach the following items to the email:

  1. 2 sets of photographs - Photos submitted with the application and photos of the completed rehabilitation. Please submit each set of photos in a zip folder or in one document.

  2. Copies of all permits, including the U&O if required.  A list of permits can be obtained from the Baltimore Housing Webpage.

  3. A detailed cost documentation  


Historic Tax Credit Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply for the Historic Tax Credit?
  2. How do I determine if a property is eligible for the historic tax credit?
  3. How do I determine if my project will qualify for the tax credit?
  4. What do I submit when I have completed my project?
  5. How do I receive the Historic Tax Credit?
  6. My project will include an investment of $3.5 million or more; what additional materials are required?
  7. I am interested in other tax credits available, where can I look?
  8. My property is located in an Enterprise Zone, am I also eligible for the City’s Historic Tax Credit?
  9. How can I find out if a property is already receiving a historic tax credit?
  10. I own a property with a historic tax credit and want to do work to the property, should I contact CHAP?

1. How do I apply for the Historic Tax Credit?

  • The Historic Tax Credit Application is online. CHAP will not accept paper applications. If you need assistance with the only application, please call 410-396-4866 and a member of the CHAP staff will assist you.
  • CHAP will review complete applications only. Applications that are incomplete, contain insufficient documentation, propose work that does not meet the CHAP Guidelines, or provide conflicting information will be delayed in the review and approval process. CHAP staff may request additional documentation as needed. All applications should include the following:
    • Photographs: Applicants must provide a thorough photo documentation of the property, including photos of the all exterior elevations, the roof (if accessible), each interior room, and significant architectural details, including cornices, porches, storefronts, windows, trim, doors, staircases, railings and newel posts, fireplaces and mantels, transoms, and other unique features within the property. Photographs must be in color and must be taken in high resolution.
    • Plans: If a building elevation or interior layout will be altered in any way, applicants must provide “existing” and “proposed” drawings for review.
    • Scope of work: Each application must contain a detailed scope of work that thoroughly describes interior and exterior plans, proposed materials, treatments, and alterations. The scope of work should provide a comprehensive overview of the proposed project. The sample scope of work given is the recommended format, but not is madatory.  SAMPLE
    • Review Fee: A $50 review fee will be assessed for each application. The fee must be in the form of a check made to the Director of Finance, Baltimore City and must contain the property address in the memo line.
    • Proof of Ownership: This can be in the form of a HUD1, deed, signed purchase agreement, or tax bill. If you are buying a property we recommend applying as soon as possible once you are under contract.
    • Authorization to Proceed Application: ONLY REQUIRED FOR PROPERTIES IN LOCAL HISTORIC DISTRICTS, check to see if you're in a local historic district here.
    • Enterprise Zone Verification Form: If your property has a commercial component, you must upload a signed copy of the Enterprise Zone Verification Form. Please see Question 8 for more information on the Enterprise Zone.

All approvals will be issued in writing from CHAP staff and will come in the form of an email only. No other form of approval can be substituted. If a change to the project scope is necessary, applicants must submit a written or emailed amendment and receive written or emailed approval from CHAP staff prior to undertaking the change.

2. How do I determine if a property is eligible for the historic tax credit?

Your property must be historically designated as a:

Additionally, the following requirements must be met:

  • The project must receive preliminary approval from CHAP Staff prior to any work beginning,
  • All work must meet CHAP's Design Guidelines,
  • The project must result in a total investment of at least 25% of the initial full cash value of the property.

3. How do I determine if my project will qualify for the tax credit?

  • You must invest a minimum of 25% of the full cash value of your property. 
  • Your application must be reviewed and approved by CHAP before you begin any work on your building, if you wish to receive the tax credit. This includes interior demolition.
  • Rehabilitation must follow CHAP's Design Guidelines.

4. What do I submit when I have completed my project?

Final certification submissions can be made through the ONLINE TAX CREDIT APPLICATION SYSTEM and must include the following:

  • Photographs: Final certification submissions must provide a thorough photo documentation of the completed rehabilitation and should correspond to the photos submitted in the original application. Photographs must be in color and must be taken in high resolution.
  • Permits: Copies of all permits, including a Use & Occupancy Permit (if required) must be submitted upon completion of the project. Copies of all Authorization to Proceeds for exterior work issued by CHAP must also be submitted if the project is within a Baltimore City Historic District. A list of permits can be obtained from the Baltimore Housing Webpage
  • Cost Documentation: A detailed cost documentation of all expenses related to the rehabilitation of the project must be submitted at the end of the project. This documentation must demonstrate that at least 25% of the full cash value of the property was invested during the course of the project and that the total amount has been paid in full. Estimates of any kind cannot be accepted. Cost documentation must include material and labor costs and can also include architect, engineering, and design fees. The cost documentation cannot include property acquisition costs, utility bills, property tax bills, or other holding costs.

 Go directly to the “DOCUMENTS/UPLOADS” tab to upload your final certification materials. Once you have uploaded all the required materials, go to the "SIGNATURE" tab and select “SUBMIT FINAL.”

5. How do I receive the Historic Tax Credit?

  • A property must receive final certification from CHAP.
  • The Historic Tax Credit will appear on the next issued tax bill as a "Special Credit."
  • For more information you can contact the Department of Finance.
  • The Department of Finance is responsible for calculating the credit and all questions regarding the calculation of the credit should be addressed to them.

6. I have a large project where I will be investing at least $3.5 million dollars; what additional materials are required?

For projects over $3.5 million dollars in investment, the Baltimore City Department of Finance must also review and approve the project. Please contact CHAP Staff for more information and to discuss the additional forms required for the Department of Finance review.

7. I am interested in other tax credits available, where can I look?

8. My property is located in an Enterprise Zone, am I also eligible for the City’s Historic Tax Credit?

If your property is located within an Enterprise Zone and your project includes a commerical property, you must submit an application to the BDC if you are interested in pursuing the Historic Tax Credit as well. The Historic Tax Credit is applied to areas of a project that are not eligible for the Enterprise Zone Credit.

9. How can I find out if a property is already receiving a historic tax credit?

If a property has been certified for the historic tax credit, a letter was issued by CHAP. You can obtain this letter by contacting CHAP at [email protected]. A seller may be able to provide a copy of the letter, but it is recommended that you confirm the property has been certified by the CHAP staff.

10. I own a property with a historic tax credit and want to do work to the property, should I contact CHAP?

If you are planning to do additional work to your property and you are currently receiving the historic tax credit, you should reach out to CHAP to get approval for the work. Please email your property address, information and photos of the work you are planning, and any additional information that will help the CHAP staff determine that you project meets the CHAP Design Guidelines. You can email this information to [email protected]ty.gov. Failure to obtain approval for additional work may jeopardize your ability to continue receiving the tax credit.