State Historic Property Tax Reclassification
Hello, my name is Logan. This January I was voted into the neighborhood association as Historian. Pretty much my job is to help people know how to get the tax credit for owning a contributing property. I was able to get my property taxes down by half along with helping both of my immediate neighbors do the same. Moving into Feldmans has been my first time owning a home. I found a little 1927 Spanish Eclectic bungalow that had been neglected for quite a while. The yard was dirt, and a condemned shed in the back had been used by squatters. There were even squatters in the shed while I was looking at the house with the realtor for the first time.
I preferred the old house for a few reasons: It was charming and had character, better built than any modern house in it’s price range, it’s more sustainable to restore an old house than to endlessly build new houses, and it’s proximity to downtown make it a really fun area to be in. I’m extremely happy to be in this house and neighborhood, However with fixing up the house I’m on a giant balancing act of trying to fix it up, while maintaining the character of the house and neighborhood. Maintaining and restoring a historic home is not always affordable or easy, so to incentivize preservation the state has created a State Historic Property Tax (SPT) program to help protect our historic neighborhoods. After applying and putting together the applications for myself and my neighbors who also purchased around the same time, my property taxes were reduced by half. The process was relatively simple for how large of a financial benefit it can have.
Inside of Logan's house afer three years of renovating. Still in process.
So, if you have not already applied, here are the steps and a little information:
First, check that your home is a contributing property and get your parcel number from the city by using their Property Research Online (PRO) tool. https://www.tucsonaz.gov/PRO/pdsd/ Search your address and under parcel attributes you will get your Parcel Number (write that down or screen shot this page), and you will see Structure on National Register of Historic Places which if it says “contributing” you are eligible for the tax credit.
But also generally on the city website they do explain general rules of thumb https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hcd/owners-historic-properties :
"The national criteria for historic designation, developed by the National Register of Historic Places, require that a cultural resource must: 1.) be at least 50 years old, 2.) possess historical significance, and 3.) retain sufficient integrity (i.e., have not been altered too greatly or irreversibly). Historic significance is defined at the local, State, and/or National levels.
If you own a property within a designated Historic District in Tucson, your property was most likely assessed for its historic status. Properties that are deemed "contributing" properties to the historic district are considered historic properties. They are also eligible for tax credits. Properties deemed "non-contributing" are not considered historic properties and are not eligible for tax credits."
Historic survey from 1989. If you would like to see documents from your own home, please reach out!
Now, walk outside to your sidewalk and take a picture of your house from the front and then walk to the corner of your property on the sidewalk and take another photograph from a side angle.
Go back inside and print off the two images on a sheet of paper (can be regular office paper or photo paper, just print as high quality as you can) as well as this form https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/asp-archive/SHPO/downloads/SHPO_SPT_Residential_Form.pdf. Make sure the images are printed 4x6 minimum. Both will fit on a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.
REMEMBER: Label the pictures with the name (if applicable) and address of the property, the owner’s name(s), the Tax Parcel ID number and the date of the photos. Write it either on the back of the images.
Fold up your images and the State Historic Property Tax Reclassification form into an envelope and mail it to: Becky Becerril, Pima County Assessor’s Office, 115 N. Church Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701
You will be notified within thirty days if you have been accepted into the program. All applications are due by December 31st. All applications approved this year will count towards a reduction of your next year property taxes.
One last thing from the state historic website https://azstateparks.com/state-historic-property-tax-reclassification-spt-for-owneroccupied-homes : As a condition of the reduced tax rate, the owner enters into a 15-year agreement with the state, consenting to maintain their property and to preserve the integrity of its historic features, materials, appearance, workmanship, and environment. If an owner plans to do any work on the property that will impact its public appearance, the SHPO must be contacted for review and comment or approval prior to project implementation.