Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation This Place Matters

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our mission is to help protect and preserve Oakland County's rich historic and cultural resources through awareness, proper technical assistance and sustainability practice.

Where can you trace the paths of glaciers 10,000 years ago; walk the trails Native Americans created 3000 years ago; explore early hamlets that time forgot; horseback into Main Street centers; visit the magnificence mansions of the roaring 20's; experience Mid-Century Modern and Doo Wop architecture of the originators; cruise Woodward with the muscle cars; share comfort food in a rehabilitated auto repair garage? Oakland County; it's our history, and we're not through making it.

Michigan State Historic Preservation Tax Credit | PA 343 OF 2020


PA 343 of 2020 requires the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office to conduct a public rulemaking process. Items such as application procedures, more detailed eligibility requirements, transfer rules, etc. will be determined through this process. Rulemaking is expected to be conducted in Winter/Spring 2021. 


A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes owed. The State Historic Preservation Tax Credit is a credit against state income tax liability. The credit is 25% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures.


Expenditure Requirements:

  • For commercial properties, expenditures must exceed 10% of the state equalized value.
  • For residential properties, expenditures must exceed $1,000
     (adjusted annually on “Detroit Consumer
     Price Index”).

Ownership Requirements:

  • Commercial Credits for Income
    Producing Properties
    • Owner
    • Lessee for 31.5 years
  • Residential Credits
    • Owner
    • Lessee for 27.5 years
  • Types of Entities
    • Corporations
    • Associations
    • Partnerships
    • Individuals
    • Non-profits
  • Designation Requirements
    • National Register of Historic Places
    • State Register of Historic Sites
    • Local Historic District 
      (Individually listed or contributing to 
      a listed district)


  • $5 million in credits each calendar year:
    • $2 million for commercial with expenses
       of $2 million or greater
    • $2 million for commercial with expenses
      of less than $2 million
    • $1 million for residential
  • No project can receive more than $2 million in one calendar year
  • Credits awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis

Usage Requirements

  • Maintain property under Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation for five years after project completion
  • Retain ownership of the property for five years after project completion.
  • May claim up to 10 years after the project completion date. Must initially claim within five years or forfeit credit.


  • Credits may be transferred to another entity.


The Planning Division provides a range of historic preservation services and trainings to local governments, non-profits, and property owners.  Services include design and technical assistance for historic properties, heritage sites, and Main Street businesses.

From hands-on workshops to presentations, Oakland County staff and partner organizations can create a program that is tailored to the needs of your community or organization.​​​​

  • Conceptual Design Guidelines and Review
  • Conditions Assessment
  • Conferences
  • Grant Alerts
  • Material Conservation Recommendations
  • Planning and Design
  • Presentations

  • ​Preservation Master Planning
  • Program and Project Assistance
  • Public Lectures
  • Redevelopment and Preservation Assistance 
  • Technical Assistance
  • Training
  • Workshops


The Planning Division is dedicated to sharing, protecting, and celebrating the places that make our Oakland County communities special.

​Annual Heritage Conference

The Heritage Conference encompasses all of Oakland County's planning services from environmental stewardship and trails to historic preservation.​​

Contact us for more information about our Heritage Preservation Program and how we might help you in preserving your (our) heritage.​