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Sen. Kent Conrad donated a facade easement on his D.C. home but has said he supports a cap on tax deductions. (Lucian Perkins -- The Washington Post)
Interactive Features
facade thumbnail Interactive: How historic easements work and who profits from them.
 Graphic: The number of property owners applying to have their home or commercial building certified as contributing to a designated historical district has increased dramatically.
 Map: Washington is the nation's leading city for historic facade easements, with easements protecting about 960 properties, many clustered in upscale neighborhoods.
RICH WITH HISTORY : Preservation Creates Tax Windfall
Loophole Pays Off on Upscale Buildings
Washington area homeowners living in historic districts are rapidly taking advantage of substantial federal income tax write-offs under obscure easement trust plan.
 Local Laws Already Bar Alterations
 Why One Building Lost Its Character While Another Didn't

Tax Break Becomes Big Business
Historic preservation was a sleepy field until seven years ago, when James Kearns and Steven McClain began advising homeowners of an obscure federal program that they could use to claim sizable income tax write-offs.
 As Word Spreads, Clamor to Donate Grows

More in This Series

Editorials and Letters

A For-Profit Facade? (The Washington Post, 12/14/04)

Easements: Preservation or Profit (The Washington Post, 12/18/04)

'Protection' Not Needed (The Washington Post, 12/23/04)

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