Legislative Spotlight: Bill 31-21E energy-saving property tax credits.
Last year, the Montgomery County Council enacted Bill 10-20, phasing out the Energy and Environmental Design property tax credit, favoring an Energy-Efficient Building property tax for residential and commercial buildings. The purpose of this legislation was to encourage energy-efficient improvements in the County's existing buildings as well as provide an incentive to developers to construct new buildings to exceed current building code requirements. Once the time came to implement the program, the County found that legislative fixes were required. In response, Council President Hucker, at the request of County Executive Elrich, introduced Expedited Bill 31-21.
If enacted, Expedited Bill 31-21 would:
Define and clarify terms related to property tax credits for energy conservation devices and energy-efficient buildings.
Repeal a sunset clause affecting property tax credits for energy-efficient buildings.
Provide for certain application timelines related to property tax credits; and
Generally, amend the law regarding property tax credit.
As for what is considered energy-saving, Bill 31-21 breaks the definition into two categories: energy conservation devices and energy-efficient buildings.
Energy conservation devices are considered to be any equipment, device, or material that reduces the demand for conventional fuels or increases the efficiency of these fuels but is not a standard household appliance. This definition would include:
Insulation in any wall, roof, floor, foundation, or heating and cooling distribution system;
Storm windows or doors, multi-glazed windows or doors, heat-absorbing or heat-reflective glazed and coated windows and door systems, or additional glazing, reduction in glass area, and other windows and door system modifications that reduce energy consumption;
Automated energy control systems;
Heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning and distribution system modifications or replacements;
Caulking, weather-stripping, and air sealing;
Replacement or modification of a lighting fixture to reduce the energy use of the lighting system;
Energy recovery systems;
Measured that reduces the usage of water or increases the efficiency of water usage;
Any other installation or modifications of equipment, device, or other materials intended to decrease energy consumption.
Energy-efficient buildings are defined as non-residential or multi-family residential buildings that:
Has or will have at least 10,000 square feet of gross floor area;
Has received a Certificate of Occupancy from the Department of Permitting Services;
Has achieved at least a minimum 50 percent occupancy rate for at least 12 consecutive months.
Expedited Bill 31-21 recently had a public hearing on Monday of this week, but there is still time in the legislative process if you want to learn more about this legislation. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Council President Hucker at (240) 777-7960 or email him at Councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov.