Baltimore County Amends Its Tax Credit Program for High Performance Homes

Date: June 23, 2010

Changing course from the drafted bill introduced on May 3, 2010, the Baltimore County Council adopted an amended version of Bill 43-10, entitled High Performance Homes, on June 7, 2010. After successful lobbying efforts by the local USGBC chapter and others, the bill's sponsor, Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, Councilman for Baltimore County's 5th councilmanic district, added into Bill 43-10 the language already existing in the Taxation Article of the Baltimore County Code involving the USGBC's LEED for Homes Rating System.

The end result is that the Baltimore County Code now provides home owners and builders with options, whereas the prior draft of Bill 43-10 proposed to eliminate any reference to the LEED for Homes Rating System from this section of law and instead only provide potential tax credits for homes which demonstrated an increase in energy efficiency based upon improvements made in the process of renovation or construction.

With regard to the amount of increased energy efficiency required in order to qualify for the tax credit, Bill 43-10 was amended such that the minimum amount of increased energy efficiency required to be achieved by the process of renovation or construction is a minimum of 30 percent. The earlier draft of Bill 43-10 called for a 40 percent increase in energy efficiency. Bill 43-10 went into effect on June 21, 2010.