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I. Purpose                                                              

The City of Ripley, MS is a Certified Local Government, which basically means we have determined that we want to preserve our historic character, maintain local input for development in our downtown, and offer incentives to investors who would like to take advantage of our excellent quality of life.

In 2003, we passed our Historic Preservation Ordinance which institutes Guidelines for what is permissible and appropriate for construction and renovation in our Historic District. There are actually two overlapping boundaries for our Historic District. The first is the National Register listed Historic District, which on the map is the black, odd shaped line, and lists properties as either Contributing or Non Contributing. Contributing properties have been assessed by The Mississippi Heritage Trust and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and were at least 50 years old in 2003, and have been determined to have important architectural and or historic value.

The second, wider boundary shown in yellow shading on this map is the Ripley Historic District, which encompasses the National Register District and further extends the tenets of the Ordinance into a few of the surrounding streets. In general, the Ripley Historic District  is bounded by Highway 15 on the East, West Street on the West, Terry Street on the North, and the intersection of S. Main and Hwy 15 on the South.

The Ordinance requires that the Ripley Historic Preservation Commission review plans for any new construction in the District, and any modifications done to the exterior of any existing building in the District.

II. Process and Application

Prior to commencing any work which will affect the exterior appearance of any building in the District, and prior to obtaining a building permit, the owner or contractor is required to have a Certificate of Appropriateness. The application is simple, and can be downloaded from www.hpc.ripley.ms

The renovations or construction must follow the Ripley Design Guidelines which can be downloaded from www.hpc.ripley.ms Pay special attention to the sections on Doors and Windows, Roofing, and Siding, since this is where the most common issues arise. Also, be sure to read our Window Payback page before you consider replacing historic windows.

The Ripley HPC meets the first Thursday of each month at Noon in the Boardroom at City Hall at 500 S. Main Street in Ripley, MS. You are welcome to attend at any time to bring completed applications or ask questions. You can contact us directly by email at hpc@ripley.ms A member of the HPC will call or email you back as soon as possible.

III. Opportunities and Incentives

The City of Ripley and Tippah County both offer up to seven years of property tax abatement for properties that have been renovated according to the Ripley Historic Preservation Ordinance and the Ripley Design Guidelines. Application and instructions can be downloaded here

Mississippi offers an income tax credit of up to 25% of qualified expenditures for Historic preservation and renovation for Contributing properties. The application package can be downloaded here

The US government offers a 10% federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of non-historic buildings constructed before 1936 and used for income-producing purposes other than residential rental. The tax credit equals 10% of qualified expenses in a rehabilitation. Under ideal circumstances, if an owner spent $100,000 restoring a historic building he would get $10,000 worth of tax credit.

Also the US Government offers a 20% rehabilitation tax credit that equals 20% of the amount spent in a certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. Under ideal circumstances, if an owner spent $100,000 restoring a historic building he would get $20,000 worth of tax credit. Unused tax credit can be applied to the previous year’s tax bill and carried forward up to twenty years. Long-term lessees may also apply for the credit if their lease is at 27.5 years for residential property or 39 years for nonresidential property.

Further information on both of the Federal Tax credit scenarios can be obtained by following the link Historic Preservation Tax Incentives. This will take you to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History website.