R.U.R.A.L. Tax Credits | Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas Legislation

Recognizing that many small, rural downtown areas have experienced varying levels of economic distress, DCA worked with the Georgia General Assembly to secure passage of a bill calling for the development of “Rural Zones.” Rural Zones focus on job creation and private investment in designated areas.  The program includes three tax credit incentives: a Job Tax Credit, Investment Credit, and Rehabilitation Credit. 


Federal Income Tax Incentives

A federal income tax credit equal to 20% of rehabilitation expenses.  Available ONLY for income-producing properties.  The application is first reviewed by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) then forwarded to the National Park Service for final decision.

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State Income Tax Incentives

A state income tax credit of 25% of rehabilitation expenses.  The credit is capped at $100,000 for residences and $300,000 for income-producing properties.  This amended tax credit is allowed for the taxable year in which the certified rehabilitation is completed.

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State Preferential Property Tax Assessment for Rehabilitated Historic Property

Freezes the county property tax assessment for over 8 years.  Available for personal residences as well as income-producing properties. The owner must increase their fair market value of the building by 50-100%, depending on its new use. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division and the Georgia Department of Revenue administers the program.


  • The application is a two/three part process, describing before and after rehabilitation.  Ideally, project work should be submitted before work begins and be completed within two years.

  • Applications for all three programs are sent to HPD, and must be reviewed and approved by HPD (and afterward National Park Service for the Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit.)

  • There are substantial cost tests that must be met to qualify for each program.