Incentives & Funding

Economic Development Incentives
All members of the Preservation of Wilson Board of Trustees and committee members support and encourage preservation minded buyers to take advantage of the many Economic Development Incentives that are available. These have been created at the local, state and federal level to spur economic development. See below for details or contact Preservation of Wilson at 252-234-7694 or

State & Federal Historic Tax Credits:
Homeowners and investors can take advantage of the State and Federal Historic Tax Credits when working on a residential or commercial structure. Most construction costs are eligible. Tax Credits are not a deduction; they reduce the amount of taxes owed. For a great overview of this program, click Using the Historic Tax Credits. For more information, contact John Wood at  252-830-6580  or

Visual Improvement Matching Grants:

The purpose of the Visual Improvement/Curb Appeal Matching Grant Program is to provide property owners an economic incentive to repair, renovate and/or enhance the exterior of their property. Matching Grants of up to $2,000 per homeowner may be used for: Windows, Front Doors, Garage Doors, Exterior Painting, Fences, Porches and other visual improvements to restore the integrity of the historic structure and offer a pleasing curb side appeal. To review the guidelines click Matching Grant Guidelines. To make application click Matching Grant Application. For more information, contact Kathy Bethune at  252-234-7694  or

Landmark Property Tax Reduction:
When a property is recognized as a Local Landmark a 50% savings on annual property taxes is offered to the property owner. Landmarks are approved for designation by the City Council upon recommendation by the City of Wilson, Historic Preservation Commission, and/or the City of Wilson Planning & Development Services.

In order to receive your tax savings you must contact the Wilson County Tax Office which is located at 113 East Nash Street to obtain the appropriate form.  If the property is already a Landmark you must fill out the Property Tax Exemption Form when the deed is transferred or within 60 days of the closing date.  If the property is a newly designated Landmark the owner must file the form during the month of January. For the guidelines of this program click Landmark Designation.

Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund:
The City of Wilson initiatied the Brownfields Program to address blight associated with brownfields with the intent of returning them to active use. For the guidelines of this program, click Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund Guidlines. For more information, contact Michelle Brown at 252-399-2226 or email at

North Carolina Homestead Exemption:
Homestead Property Tax Exemption provides financial assistance to low-income elderly and disabled homeowners by exempting part of the value of their home from the property tax levied by Wilson County. Under current law, an elderly or disabled homeowner is eligible for the exemption ($20,000 or 50% of the appraised value of property, which ever is greater, used as his or her permanent residence) if he or she is a North Carolina resident and his or her income from the preceding calendar year was $18,000 or less. For more information, contact the Wilson County Tax Office at 252-399-2900.

Waiving Permit Fees for Residential Owner-Occupied Properties:
Building, zoning, electrical, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and land development fees are waived for any new construction, renovation, remodel or addition for a residential structure, restricted to owner-occupied in the historic districts.  The deed must state that the property will have perpetual owner occupancy (and disallowing use as a rental or other than owner-occupied dwelling).

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation
All Preservation of Wilson’s projects are based on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for establishing standards for all national preservation programs under Departmental authority and for advising Federal agencies on the preservation of historic properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Standards for Rehabilitation, a section of the Secretary’s Standards for Historic Preservation Projects, address the most prevalent preservation treatment today: rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is defined as the process of returning a property to a state of utility, through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions and features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values.

The Standards that follow were originally published in 1977 and revised in 1990 as part of Department of the Interior regulations (36 CFR Part 67, Historic Preservation Certifications). They pertain to historic buildings of all materials, construction types, sizes, and occupancy and encompass the exterior and the interior of historic buildings. The Standards also encompass related landscape features and the building’s site and environment as well as attached adjacent or related new construction.

The Standards are to be applied to specific rehabilitation projects in a reasonable manner, taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility.

1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.

3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.

6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.

7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.

8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.

10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

Certain treatments, if improperly applied, or certain materials by their physical properties, may cause or accelerate physical deterioration of historic buildings. Inappropriate physical treatments include, but are not limited to: improper repainting techniques; improper exterior masonry cleaning methods; or improper introduction of insulation where damage to historic fabric would result. In almost all situations, use of these materials and treatments will result in denial of certification. In addition, every effort should be made to ensure that the new materials and workmanship are compatible with the materials and workmanship of the historic property.

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