Frequently the State of Tennessee will develop special grants for projects of great concern to the General Assembly or the Governor. When these acts become law, any emergency management grants authorized by them will be entered on this page. Access to other funding may also be included here.
Historical preservation is one of the "Special Considerations" of the Public Assistance Program. When damage from a disaster event is written as a Public Assistance project, one of the reviews the project scope of work must pass is a Historical Review. If the damaged facility has historical significance, then a series of checks and balances is put into motion to ensure that repair/restoration is performed accordingly. The historical preservation issue is explained in the Applicant's Briefing which takes place within days of a Presidential Declaration and in any workshops or training held by the TEMA Public Assistance staff.
If the applicant is unaware of the historical significance of an eligible damaged facility, then the state is notified by FEMA following the Historical Review. Under guidance by the TEMA Public Assistance staff, the applicant proceeds according to the recommendation of the Tennessee Historical Commission. Within the state, there are numerous organizations dedicated to the preservation of historic facilities. Tennessee Main Street Association, Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, Historic Nashville, and Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association are among the organizations which may assist the Public Assistance program to ensure every effort is made in achieving authentic restoration.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) supports any program that assists recovery or mitigation of historic buildings or other property. Although not every building or area may qualify, a significant benefit may be obtained if damaged properties are of significance in historical, cultural or architectural value. Incentives are available through federal programs to encourage historical preservation, cultural enhancement, or architectural heritage and include:
The preservation of historic and cultural resources contributes to the stabilization of neighborhoods and encourages complementary design of alterations and renovations on historic landmarks and within historic districts. In some communities local ordinances have been enacted that provide incentives or encourage participation, such as the program in Franklin, Tennessee. In some communities, such as Murfreesboro, Tennessee, there are ordinances to ensure new buildings meet community standards and support architectural themes.
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. This program fosters private sector rehabilitation of historic buildings that are national historic landmarks (listed in the National Register) and that meet standards set by the Secretary of the Interior. These locations must contribute to National Register Historic Districts and other local historic districts that are established by local support. Owners of properties listed in the National Register may be eligible for a 20% investment tax credit for the rehabilitation of certified income-producing historic structures. This credit can be combined with a straight-line depreciation period of 27.5 years for residential property or 31.5 years for nonresidential property for the depreciable basis of the rehabilitated building, reduced by the amount of the tax credit claimed. Federal tax deductions are also available for charitable contributions for conservation purposes of partial interests in historically important land areas or structures.
This program, started in 1976, helps encourage voluntary, private sector investment in preserving historic buildings. The historic preservation tax incentives have also proven to be invaluable in revitalizing communities and can serve as another tool to enhance recovery as well as provide cities, towns and rural areas with a special character which would speed recovery due to the spin-off effects of increased earning and consumption. This concept is crucial to the long-term economic health of many communities. Oversight is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with the Tennessee Historical Commission, 2941 Lebanon Road, Nashville, TN 37243-0442 (615-532-1550).