Listing a Property in the National Register of Historic Places
National Register listing is primarily an honor. It is a recognition by the federal government that a property is important in our nation’s past and worthy of preservation. This recognition often increases awareness of the value of historic properties and spurs preservation efforts. Properties approved for listing in the National Register are eligible to display South Carolina’s National Register plaques.
Results of Listing
National Register properties are eligible for some financial incentives. National Register listed and eligible properties are also given limited protection from the impact of state or federally assisted projects. National Register listing, however, does not guarantee the preservation of historic properties. Under federal and state law, owners of private property listed in the National Register are free to maintain, manage, or dispose of their property as they choose provided there is no federal involvement and they do not require a state mining permit or a permit from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
• Eligibility for federal and state tax provisions
Owners of properties listed in the National Register may be eligible for a 20% federal investment tax credit for the certified rehabilitation of income-producing certified historic structures such as commercial, industrial, or rental residential buildings. Federal tax deductions are also available for charitable contributions for conservation purposes of partial interests in historically important structures or land areas.
In South Carolina taxpayers who qualify for the 20% federal investment tax credit for the rehabilitation of income-producing buildings also qualify for a 10% state income tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenditures.
South Carolina law also establishes a 25% income tax credit for rehabilitation expenses incurred in the certified rehabilitation of owner-occupied residences that are listed in the National Register or individually eligible for the National Register.
• Qualification for federal grants for historic preservation, when funds are available
Owners of properties listed in the National Register may be eligible for grant funding for planning, education or stabilization through the Federal Grant program. Any local government, non-profit, or institution in South Carolina may apply for a Federal Historic Preservation Grant.
In some communities, local ordinances provide protections for historic properties, but these ordinances are established by local governments; they are not part of the National Register program. South Carolina local governments can designate historic properties and protect them with ordinances whether or not they are listed in the National Register.
Federal and state laws encourage, but do not mandate, the preservation of National Register properties. National Register listing results in the following limited protection for historic properties:
• Consideration in planning for federal, federally licensed, and federally assisted projects
Federal law and regulations require federal agencies to consider the effect of their actions on properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register. Federal agencies are required to consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (on Catawba tribal lands) when planning projects that involve federal funds, permits, licenses, or property. Visit our Section 106 process webpage for more information about review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
• Consideration in planning for certain state assisted projects
State laws and regulations require the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to consider the effect of proposed projects on historic properties when deciding whether or not to approve Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) permits (in the eight coastal counties) or mining permits. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which advises DHEC in evaluating historic properties and potential project impacts, considers historic properties to be those that are listed in or eligible for the National Register. Follow these links for more information about OCRM review and review of mining permits.