Restoration Tax Abatement
Saenger Theatre, New Orleans
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Restoration Tax Abatement

The Restoration Tax Abatement (RTA) program provides an up to ten-year abatement of ad valorem property taxes on the renovations and improvements of existing commercial structures and owner-occupied residences.

  • Five-year contract; option for a five-year renewal with local governing authority approval.

Eligibility

This incentive is open to all Louisiana businesses and homeowners with existing structures to be expanded, restored, improved or developed in qualifying locations, and as approved by the local governing authority.

If property taxes have been paid on the improvements a business or homeowner is not eligible to apply for the exemption. 

Qualifying locations for properties include:

  • Downtown Development Districts
  • Historic Districts (includes properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places) 
  • Economic Development Districts*
    *Different from Enterprise Zones and Economic Development Zones

Eligible expenses:

  • Building and materials 
  • Machinery and equipment (only that which becomes an integral part of the structure)
  • Labor and engineering

Non-eligible expenses:

  • Acquisition cost of the structure or land
  • Movable and personal property

Program Statutes & Rules:

All incentive program rules are in the Louisiana Administrative Code maintained by the Office of the State Register.


Getting Started

First, a commercial property owner or homeowner must submit an Advance Notification and pay the filing fee online before construction begins.   

You may submit your Advance Notification, Application and fees online using FastLane. If you have appointed a representative other than a company official as your contact designee, a Disclosure Authorization is required. 

View fees associated with this incentive. 

To determine if the overall tax benefit is greater than the cost to participate in this program, contact your assessor for approximate annual tax savings for the proposed investment in your property. 


Next Steps

After we receive your Advance Notification and fee, you will be ready to start the next steps:

1. Submit your application and fee online before beginning construction.

2. Begin your project. This includes construction, purchase of equipment, building and materials items, and other capital investment transactions.

3. Review of application. Upon receipt of your application and fee, we will review your application for compliance with the program rules and then forward it to the local governing authority for an approval resolution. Upon receipt of an approval resolution from the local governing authority, we will make a recommendation to the Board of Commerce and Industry.

4. Board review. Your application will be presented to the Board of Commerce and Industry for consideration of contract approval. The Board convenes every other month, meeting six times a calendar year.

5. Issue contract. Upon approval of your application by the Board of Commerce and Industry, a contract which includes the Project Completion Report and Affidavit of Final Cost will be sent to you for your signature. You will return four complete sets of the contract with original signature pages (five complete sets, if property is located in Orleans Parish). We will return a fully executed contract signed by the governor. The contract is for five years and may be renewed for an additional five years with local governing authority, Board and the governor's approval.

6. Submit Project Completion Report and fee. This form is part of the contract and must be filed with LED within 30 days following the last day of the month after effective use of the structure has begun or construction is essentially completed, whichever occurs first.

7. Submit Affidavit of Final Cost and fee. This form is part of the contract and shall be filed with LED within six months after construction has been completed, or within 90 days of the receipt of the executed contract, whichever occurs last.

8. Renewal. The same approval process, as used for the original application and contract will be followed for renewal. Submit a Renewal Application and fee to LED within six months of contract expiration. We will review your renewal application and then forward it to the local governing authority for an approval resolution. If approved by the local governing authority, your renewal application will be presented to the Board of Commerce and Industry for approval.

9. Board Review. Once the renewal application is approved by the Board of Commerce and Industry, contracts are sent to you electronically with instructions for signatures. We will return a fully executed contract signed by the governor.

10. Change in Name or Contract Transfer. If at any time during the term of a contract, a name change or transfer of ownership occurs; a Change in Name form or Contract Transfer form must be submitted to LED for approval. Upon receipt of an approval resolution from the local governing authority, we will present the request to the Board of Commerce and Industry for approval. 


Eligibility Scenarios

Q: I am renovating my home. How do I know if the benefit of an exemption outweighs the cost to participate in the RTA program?
A: To determine if the benefit is greater than the cost to participate contact the assessor to ask what your investment will add to the increased value of your property and how much additional tax you will be required to pay. 

Q:
 I purchased a condo property that has an active Restoration Tax Abatement (RTA) contract with the original owner. Can the contract be transferred to the new owner?
A: Yes, if allowed by local governing authority guidelines. The contract can be transferred to the new owner by submitting a request to LED and receiving approval from your local governing authority and the Board of Commerce and Industry. Complete an RTA Contract Transfer Form and submit with a $250 fee to LED.

Q: I purchased an uninhabited and run-down property to restore for use as a hotel. Is the purchase price of the property part of my investment for claiming the Restoration Tax Abatement?
A: No. Only improvements to the existing structure are eligible for the abatement. Acquisition cost of the structure or the land is not eligible for the abatement.

Q: What if I've already paid property taxes on the improvements that I am seeking to abate? Can I still qualify for the abatement?
A: The tax abatement is not available if property taxes have been paid on the improvements made by the project. If, however, the application process has not been completed and those property taxes for the project are due, contact your local assessor to determine how to pay these taxes under protest and what steps may need to be taken to maintain eligibility.

Q: If my property is not located in an economic development district can it still be considered for the Restoration Tax Abatement?
A: If your structure is not currently located in an economic development district, contact your local governing authority to see if this may be an option.


FAQs

Q: What is Louisiana's Restoration Tax Abatement Program?
A: The Restoration Tax Abatement Program (RTA) is an incentive created for municipalities and local governments to encourage the expansion, restoration, improvement and development of existing structures in downtown development districts, economic development districts and historic districts.

Q: How do I apply for the Louisiana Restoration Tax Abatement?
A: Submit an Advance Notification and a $250 filing fee prior to beginning the project (i.e., before starting construction). LED will acknowledge receipt and send you instructions for the application process.

Q: What is the cost to participate in the RTA program?
A: A fee schedule is provided in the Getting Started section with the required fees. 

Q: What is an Advance Notification?
A: A document notifying LED of an intended project before any construction or capital expenditure has been made. Acknowledgement of receipt of an Advance Notification by LED does not guarantee eligibility to participate in the program.

Q: What is a Resolution from the local governing authority?
A: A resolution is a written motion issued by the local governing authority approving participation in the Restoration Tax Abatement Program. It may also be called an Approval Resolution. This is required before an application can be presented to the Board of Commerce and Industry. 

Q: What benefits are made available by participating in the Restoration Tax Abatement Program?
A: Five-year abatement of ad valorem property taxes on the increased value of the property from the restoration, improvement, development or expansion of an existing structure.

Q: Can someone other than the property owner or company representative file an RTA application?
A: Yes. If an application is being prepared and/or submitted by someone other than the owner of the property, submit a Resolution of the Board of Directors or Resolution of Property Owners and related documents to execute the application on behalf of the company or individual owner of the property for which the application is being filed.