Financial Incentives

Owners of historic properties in San Antonio may be eligible for certain incentives for rehabilitation either through local or federal programs.


Local Tax Exemption for Substantial Rehabilitation

A tax exemption is available for designated local landmarks and properties within local historic districts that under go a substantial rehabilitation.  Substantial rehabilitation includes improvements that extend the life of a building such as roof, foundation, and siding work; electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system work; other structural work; and interior work.  Following substantial rehabilitation of residential properties, City property taxes are frozen at the assessed value prior to rehabilitation for up to 10 years.  Substantially rehabilitated commercial properties are eligible for the 5 Zero/5 Fifty tax exemption:  no City property taxes are owed for the first five (5) years, and for the next five (5) years the City taxes are assessed at 50% of a post-rehabilitation appraisal.  The tax exemption for substantial rehabilitation remains with the property regardless of change of ownership or sale of the property.


Local Tax Exemption for Owner-Occupied Residences in New Historic Districts

All residential properties occupied by the property owner in newly designated local historic districts at the time of designation receive a 20% exemption on their City property taxes for 10 years.  The exemption can be extended for an additional five (5) years for a total of 15 years for owners who remain in the same house for the entire period of the exemption.
Certain restrictions apply, and the tax exemption for Substantial Rehabilitation requires Certification by the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) prior to project implementation or permit acquisition.  Verification by the HDRC is also required upon completion of the work.  After verification, the tax exemption will go into effect on January 1 of the following year.  Copies of the Tax Certification and Verification forms are available on the Forms & Applications page. Contact the Office of  Historic Preservation for further details.

Local Tax Incentives Brochure


Rehabilitation Programs for Historic Preservation

The Office of Historic Preservation is partnering with the San Antonio Conservation Society and Merced Housing Texas for an Acquisition/Rehabilitation/Resale Revolving Fund. The purpose of the program is to purchase and rehabilitate locally-designated historic homes in order to combat the deterioration of historic housing stock and the erosion of neighborhood fabric that occurs when properties are demolished. 

A second program is the Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Loan Program, which is offered through the City's Housing and Neighborhood Services Department. This program helps low to moderate-income property owners with their restoration and rehabilitation projects through a combination of loans and grants.  For information, contact the Office of Historic Preservation at 215-9274.


San Antonio Conservation Society Grants Program

Before Conservation Society GrantUsing the proceeds from its annual presentation of "A Night In Old San Antonio®" (NIOSA®) and in keeping with its mission, the San Antonio Conservation Society accepts applications for grants to individuals and organizations for restoration or rehabilitation of residential or commercial structures in the San Antonio area that are at least 50 years old. 

Examples of grant projects funded in past years include restoration or rehabilitation of roofs, foundations, windows, plaster, facades, chimneys, front doors, porches and stonework.  Since 2000, the Society has awarded $1,878,265 to individuals and organizations through its grants programs. The Society also accepts grant applications for educational projects. 

Visit the San Antonio Conservation Society website for more information about their program.


Additional Resources