Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

Landmark NM State Income Tax Credit for Preservation of Cultural Property program nears four decades of success

Historic Preservation Division

March 30, 2023


Santa Fe, NM – The New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (NMHPD) invites you to celebrate the nation’s oldest state-level historic tax credit program here in the Land of Enchantment: the NM State Income Tax Credit for Preservation of Cultural Property. As it nears its 40th birthday, here are a few details you might not know about this groundbreaking program. 

Since it was established in 1984, the NM State Income Tax Credit for Preservation of Cultural Property has been used to encourage the rehabilitation of approximately 1000 historic properties around the state, ranging from individual houses to some of the state’s grandest historic hotels. The program is administered by NMHPD. 

“New Mexico is blessed with a unique collection of historic buildings, and this tax credit is a crucial tool in the toolbox for ensuring that these buildings stay inhabitable while retaining their historic integrity,” said State Historic Preservation Officer Jeff Pappas. “We at NMHPD are proud to be stewards of this landmark program.” 

For this program, the tax credit that may be earned for a project is 50% of eligible costs spent in a pre-approved rehabilitation, or a maximum credit of $25,000 or five years of state income tax liability, depending on which is less. For example, $5,000 in approved expenses would earn a 50% tax credit of $2,500, and approved expenses of $50,000 would earn the maximum tax credit of $25,000. For qualifying projects that are also located in state-certified Arts and Cultural Districts, the maximum in eligible expenses is $100,000 for a 50% tax credit maximum of $50,000. 

The program is limited to buildings that are individually listed in the State Register of Cultural Properties or that contribute to a listed historic district. Properties may be residential or income-producing buildings, such as apartments, offices or stores. Unlisted properties with historic value may also be nominated to the register. Contact NMHPD to see if your building meets these requirements. 

Examples of projects that might be covered under this program include: roof replacements, foundation stabilizations, repair of windows and other character-defining historic features, restoration of historic interior and exterior trim and decorative elements, and replacement of broken or out-of-code mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. 

Consulting with NMHPD early in a project’s life cycle is highly recommended to ensure that your project is a good fit for the program. Visit to learn more! 

About the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division: NMHPD manages, oversees, and coordinates  historic preservation activities across the state. The division educates the public about historic preservation and protects thousands of historic and archaeological sites in New Mexico. If you have ever visited an archaeological site, stopped on the side of the road to read a historic marker, or appreciated a well-maintained historic building in your community, you have likely engaged with the work of the NMHPD. 

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