In 2001, the Delaware legislature passed House Bill One (HB1) creating tax credits for the rehabilitation of Delaware’s historic properties. The results of this legislation can be seen in every corner of Delaware—restored buildings on main street, revitalized commercial districts, quality housing units in every price range, and reinvestment in historic homes. The Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program has created jobs, increased the local tax base, and encouraged reinvestment in areas already served by infrastructure and public services.
But the Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit is an incentive program. And in times of economic downturns, financial strains, and budget shortfalls, it is appropriate to look at all state programs including incentives. The Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is no exception. This report was commissioned to give the state legislature, preservation activists, and economic development officials an understanding of how this program has worked in its first ten years.