McKinney updates tax exemption program for historic homes

The city's Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone includes downtown McKinney. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
The city's Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone includes downtown McKinney. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city's Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone includes downtown McKinney. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of McKinney has updated its tax exemption program for homes in the Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

McKinney City Council approved the amendments at a March 15 meeting after a presentation from the historic preservation committee.

The city established the Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone in 2007 to “preserve the city’s unique and historic neighborhoods while encouraging property owners to maintain and/or rehabilitate their residences,” according to meeting documents. The program is reviewed and updated periodically, the documents stated.

The Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone is bordered by US 75 on the west, US 380 on the north, Airport Drive on the east and Industrial Boulevard and Wilson Creek Parkway on the south.

The city’s previous program for historic homes had three levels, each with varying investment requirements and exemption percentages. Level 1 requests had to be approved by the historic preservation advisory board. Level 2 and 3 requests had to be approved by the buildings and standards commission.


The new program has three levels: Marker Incentive, Rehabilitation Incentive and Preservation Incentive.

Homeowners applying for a Marker Incentive, the equivalent of Level 1, must own a home that is at least 50 years old. There is a minimum investment requirement of $10,000, and the work must be completed within three years of the application, according to the committee's presentation.

Eligible work to homes can be exterior improvements—painting, roofing, siding, window or foundation work. Eligible interior improvements consist of sewer lines, fire protection, insulation, electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning, per the presentation.

Both the Rehabilitation and Preservation Incentives have a minimum home age requirement of 40 years. Work for both of these levels must be completed within one year of eligibility. The minimum investment for the Rehabilitation Incentive is $10,000 and $5,000 for the Preservation Incentive.

Requests for all three levels of the new program will be approved by the board. The exemption period for each level is 10 years. Homes with a Marker Incentive receive a one-time 100% exemption for the 10 years. Rehabilitation Incentive homes receive a 50% exemption that may be renewed after the 10-year period. Homes with a Preservation Incentive receive a 30% exemption that may also be renewed.

To be eligible for the program, homes must be occupied by their owners, according to the presentation. Applicants should have the appropriate permits and approvals and no pending code violations on the property.

The city will update its website soon with details of the updated program. The full presentation can be found at this link.

By Brooklynn Cooper
Brooklynn Cooper covers public education in Frisco and McKinney. Previously, she reported on southern Dallas for The Dallas Morning News. The Durham, N.C. native and devoted Tar Heel fan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019.