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The Legislature adjourned without passing the Historic Tax Credit. Contact your MN Senator and Representative and urge them to pass it in a special session!
Headshot of Erin Hanafin Berg, Director of Rethos Policy Institute

Message from the Director

Welcome to the Rethos Policy Institute, a resource for elected leaders, local and state government officials, active community members, and everyone interested in promoting the best practices in public policy around historic preservation and building reuse. 


Rethos has been doing this work for decades, but we have now organized our public policy research, advocacy, and education into this single program. We will be the venue for leading change in all the areas in which preservation is relevant: equity and inclusion, sustainability and environmental justice, and economic revitalization. Follow us on social media to stay in touch with the latest updates about the Rethos Policy Institute.

Public policies, whether in the form of legislation, zoning ordinances, or recommendations from civic advisory boards, form the basis upon which our shared historic preservations goals and ambitions become realized. Forward-thinking communities are always looking for the most relevant and useful policy ideas and research-informed practices to help guide their work. It is our objective to be a resource for you and your fellow leaders, ensuring the best outcomes for the people and places you hold dear. 


Your voice is needed as we continue to move forward together. Please participate in our events, educational sessions (in person and online), and share your ideas and questions with us and other people working every day to preserve historic places and tell important stories. Together we will find and share solutions to challenges, identify opportunities, and craft the most beneficial policies, laws, and processes to meet the needs of our communities. 


Thank you for your willingness to come along on this journey! 




Erin Hanafin Berg 

Director, Rethos Policy Institute 

Policy Director
Erin Hanafin Berg Featured in
Twin Cities Pioneer Press 

If new construction is exempted from rent control, “our concern is, why would anyone choose to do that?” said Berg, who has built a career embracing just that effort. “Somebody could decide, ‘I could make money by demolishing this building and building something new.’ ”

Action Alert!

Urge Your Senators to Support Improvements to the Historic Tax Credit! Contact them here.
Do you have questions about how Historic Tax Credits actually work and want to learn more? Visit the Rethos blog for links to a recent article and podcast that help explain the complexities.

Policy News

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Elected officials from both parties support Historic Tax Credits.

“For every dollar we put into this...
it generates in the neighborhood of about $9.50 of economic activity.
So it’s just a tremendously great project I think in terms of saving historical structures, which are important to a lot of Main Streets across Minnesota.”

- Senator David Senjem, MN-25, R

"I support the Historic Tax Credit extension. We have a lot of beautiful {iconic} buildings in this state that are a part of our history. And I think this will help preserve them and maybe repurpose them.”

- Senator Kari Dziedzic, MN-60 – DFL

28,480 jobs have been created since the
Historic Tax Credit was enacted in Minnesota in 2011.

About the Minnesota Historic Tax Credit

Minnesota's Historic Tax Credit Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit (MN Statute 290.0681), passed into law in 2010, has been a successful economic development tool for revitalizing distressed, vacant, and underutilized historic properties throughout the state. The credit provides a refundable income tax credit equal to 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenses made to buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places and used for income-producing purposes (including office, industrial, retail, hospitality, and rental residential).

Approximately 6,000 housing units have been created or retained in Minnesota through the use of Federal and State Historic Tax Credits since 2011!

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