Community Revitalization Tax Relief Program

About the 79-E Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive Program

Now therefore be it resolved, by the Lebanon City Council, that the City of Lebanon hereby adopts on February 17, 2016 and implements the provisions of RSA 79-E. The Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive (RSA 79-E) Program allows the City to provide a temporary period of limited tax relief for property owners who wish to undertake substantial rehabilitation of a qualifying structure which will provide at least one public benefit. Under the statute, use of the 79-E program is limited to designated or recognized downtowns, town centers, or village centers. 

Do I Qualify for the Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive (RSA 79-E) Program?

To qualify for the 79-E Program, your project must meet all three of the following criteria:

1.    The proposed project must be a Substantial Rehabilitation. 

    • A substantial rehabilitation is a project that costs at least 15% of the pre-rehabilitation assessed valuation or $75,000, whichever is less. For historic structures, substantial rehabilitation means devoting at least 10% of the pre-rehabilitation assessed valuation or $5,000, whichever is less, to energy efficiency improvements in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation guidelines for historic structures.

2.    The building or structure must be a Qualifying Structure.

    • A qualifying structure is a building or structure located within the downtown Lebanon or downtown West Lebanon areas designated by the City as part of its adoption of the program. However, historic structures located anywhere in the City are also considered qualifying structures for purposes of the program.

3.    The project must provide at least one Public Benefit listed in the statute, including:

    • Enhancement of the economic vitality of the downtown; (RSA 79-E:7, I)
    • Enhancement or improvement of a culturally or historically important structure; (RSA 79-E:7, II)
    • Promotion of the preservation and reuse of existing building stock; (RSA 79-E:7, II-a)
    • Promotion of the development of municipal centers, providing for efficiency, safety, and a greater sense of community (RSA 79-E:7, III); or
    • Growth of residential housing in urban or town centers. (RSA 79-E:7, IV)

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Application for Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive Program (RSA 79-E), including a cover letter describing the project and providing any appropriate supporting information or materials.
  2. Pay a $50.00 Application fee to the City of Lebanon.
  3. Submit all materials to the Planning and Zoning Department.

What Happens Next?

  1. The Planning and Zoning Department reviews the application with the City Assessor and the Building Inspector to verify the subject property’s assessed valuation as of the application date and to verify the reasonableness of the estimated rehabilitation costs.
  2. Within 60 days of receipt, the application is reviewed by the City Council at a public hearing to determine whether the building or structure is a qualifying structure, whether the proposed project is a substantial rehabilitation, and whether there is a public benefit to granting the requested tax relief.
  3. No later than 45 days after the public hearing, the City Council shall render a decision granting or denying the request tax relief and, if so granted, establishing the tax relief period.
  4. If approved, the owner and the City will execute and record a Declaration of Covenant (see Sample Covenant language), which protects the public benefit(s) that the project provides and ensures that the building is used and maintained as proposed.
  5. Upon completion of the substantial rehabilitation, the property shall be taxed based on the pre-rehabilitation assessed value for the duration of the tax relief period and such value shall not increase as a result of the substantial rehabilitation project. Upon the expiration of the tax relief period, the property shall be taxed at its full market value.

Helpful Tools & Resources

The following is a list of tools you may find helpful when completing the application: