The Historic Site Tax Exemption (HSTE) involves a two-part process that requires approval by staff before the project is started, and final verification by the Landmarks Commission and the City Council upon completion of the project. The Tax Exemption will go into effect Jan. 1 of the year following City Council verification. The Tax Exemption freezes the assessed valuations of the land and improvements at the pre-renovation values for the purpose of assessing city taxes. The exemption period is ten (10) years. Application to the Tarrant Appraisal District must be made each year of the exemption.
Applications must be submitted prior to beginning the rehabilitation project. Eligibility for the Tax Exemption requires that an amount equal to or greater than 20% of the assessed valuation of the improvements be spent on rehabilitation. Staff must approve all work requiring a Certificate of Appropriateness in advance. Some work that doesn’t require a Certificate of Appropriateness can be counted toward the 20% after the fact. Please contact the preservation staff for more information.
Step 1: Partial Approval
An applicant may initiate the application process for a historic site tax exemption by submitting a fully completed and signed application to the HPO. The application for a historic site tax exemption must be submitted prior to commencing treatment.
An application for a historic site tax exemption may be processed concurrently with an application for any COA for the same structure.
Once an application for a historic site tax exemption is deemed complete by the HPO, the HPO will send the property owner a letter that sets forth the date that the HPO determined the application to be complete, the base-year taxable value, the projected term of the historic site tax exemption, and the deadline for completion of substantial treatment.
Step 2: Verification
Upon completion of the stabilization or rehabilitation project, the applicant shall return the documents listed on the HSTE page of the application to the Historic Preservation Officer. Upon receipt of the required items, but no later than 30 days thereafter, the HCLC shall make an investigation of the property and shall verify whether the project has been completed. If the verification of completion is favorable, the HCLC shall forward your application to the City Council for approval. Once verified, city staff notifies the Tarrant Appraisal District of the tax exemption to begin January 1 in the following tax year.
If the verification of completion is unfavorable, you shall be required to complete the project in order to secure the City ad valorem tax exemption; your application will be returned for consideration of approval after all work has been completed.