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Maryland Heritage Area Partners

Mackall Barn

Organizations located within the boundaries of a Certified Heritage Area (CHA), and organizations with projects taking place within the boundaries of a CHA, are considered Maryland Heritage Area Program Partners. Partners may be eligible for a variety of benefits designed to support economic development through the promotion, creation and support of heritage tourism products.  

 

 


Grants

The Maryland Heritage Areas Program provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to nonprofit organizations and government entities for capital and non-capital projects located within a CHA. Grants can support projects involving historical, cultural or natural resources, sites, events or facilities. Eligible projects must have must have a heritage tourism component.  Full details are available in the program guidelines in the sidebar.  Current funding opportunities and training can be found on the MHT grants page.

Eligible Activities

Non-Capital.  Grants of up to $50,000, with a required one-to-one match of non-state support, are available for non-capital projects, which can include Planning (research, field investigation, data recovery, feasibility and planning studies, design documents and other planning activities that support the heritage area); Interpretation (exhibits, signage, pedestrian wayfinding signage, interpretive brochures, educational programs and materials, other interpretive activities that support the heritage area); and Programming (seminars, conferences, performances, reenactments, commemorations, festivals).

Capital. Grants of up to $100,000, with a required one-to-one match of non-state support, are available for capital projects, which can include Acquisition(fee title of real property, interest other than fee title (i.e. easement) of real property); Development (repair or alteration of an existing building, structure or site, new construction for heritage tourism purposes); Rehabilitation (returning a property to a state of utility); Restoration (accurately depicting a property as it appeared at a particular period of time, removal of features from another time period, reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period); and Pre-Development (plans and specifications, fees for architectural design and engineering).  Capital projects must meet the requirements of the Targeted Investment Policy for Capital Projects.


Loans

Loans are available to nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions, individuals and businesses to assist with the preservation of heritage resources and the enhancement of heritage attractions and visitor services located within a Certified Heritage Area. The maximum loan commitment made for any specific project is limited by the available uncommitted balance of the MHAA Financing Fund.  Up to 50 percent of the total project cost will be provided based on an assessment of the applicant’s financial need.  Refinancing will not be considered part of the project cost.  Loan projects must meet the requirements of the Targeted Investment Policy for Capital Projects.

Eligible Activities

Acquisition (fee title of real property, interest other than fee title (i.e. easement) of real property); Development (repair or alteration of an existing building, structure or site, new construction for heritage tourism purposes); Rehabilitation (returning a property to a state of utility); Restoration (accurately depicting a property as it appeared at a particular period of time, removal of features from another time period, reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period); Leasehold improvements (rehabilitation, restoration, or minor new construction activities are eligible uses if the term of the lease is at least equal to the term of the loan); and Purchase of equipment, furnishings, inventory.


Sustainable Community Tax Credits

In addition to grants and loans, projects within Certified Heritage Areas may also qualify for special tax credits.  Within CHAs, a Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit of up to 20% of the eligible costs of rehabilitation may be available for:

  • historic structures that are eligible for, but not listed on the National Register of Historic Places that meet the requirements of the Targeted Investment Policy for Capital Projects; or
  • non-historic structures that meet the Targeted Investment Criteria and that have been certified by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority as contributing to the significance of the CHA.

These Heritage Area benefits are in addition to the more standard tax credits offered by the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program for qualified rehabilitation work on qualified historic structures.  For full details on the program, please visit the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program page.