Like Missouri, the other option in Delaware is to sell
tax credits, she said.
“There are brokerages that will do a deal and make
an arrangement with a company that owes Delaware
income taxes to buy your tax credit,” she explained.
“They won’t buy them dollar for dollar, but for a discount. For someone who is elderly and doesn’t have a
lot of income tax liability, and is living on social security but has used some of their savings to make required
repairs to their historic home, this is a feature that is
a good thing for them. I have a lady now who doesn’t
owe anything in state income taxes. She has a credit
and she can benefit by getting some income that might
be helpful to restore savings she had to use to make
In New Mexico, historic tax credit manager Harvey
Kaplan said his program for “registered cultural properties” has been around since 1984 and was the first of
its kind in the country.
“It yields — for projects that are approved in advance
— tax credits of 50 percent of eligible expenses against
New Mexico state income taxes of a maximum generally of $50,000 — which results in a credit of $25, 000.
“If the property is in a state-approved arts and cultural district, the caps are doubled. If people don’t use
the credit to wipe out their tax debt for the tax year of
the project completion, they can spread it out over an
additional four years.” Kaplan explained.
He said the program has been used for hundreds of
properties and “we get applications for everything
from $500 to $1,000 stuff all the way up to million-dollar projects. The limits could be higher, but it’s
better than getting poked in the eye with a stick. And
we do get a lot of middle-income homeowners who
benefit from this.”
Many residents in the small town of Las Vegas, N.M.,
have used the program because of all the community’s historic homes, some of which are adobe dwellings
that date back to the middle of the 1800s. The town,
which is on the Santa Fe Trail, has a population of
around 15,000. It has eight historic districts and more
than 800 properties listed on the National Register of
Kaplan said movie and television production compa-
nies often use the town for shoots. He estimated that
some “fixer-uppers” in Las Vegas could be purchased for less
“I’d love to live there, but it’d be an hour commute to my
work in Santa Fe,” he quipped.
The tax credit program also has been popular in the Huning Highlands neighborhood, which is on a rise above
“It’s been in use for about 20 years there and a lot of middle-class people have bought older homes and fixed them
up using tax credits,” Kaplan said. “We have two in that
neighborhood now. It’s made a difference in a lot of places.”
Unfortunately, New Mexico does not allow the tax credits
to be sold or transferred — as in Missouri and Delaware
— which limits the program.
“That’s kind of a shame and people are pushing for the
change, so we’ll see,” he said. “But still, a lot of neighborhoods and homeowners have benefited from this program,
A lot of middle-class people
have bought older homes and
fixed them up using tax credits.
A restored historic home in Las Vegas, N.M.
Photo by Amanda Quintana-Bowles