Solar/Geothermal Energy Tax Credit

§ 123-44. Credit for qualifying energy conservation devices.
[Amended by Bill Nos. 80-25; 82-20; 07-53; 09-45]

A. Definitions
For the purposes of this article.
Geothermal Energy Device
Shall mean an energy conserving device that uses energy derived from naturally occurring heat in the interior of the earth to heat or cool a structure, to provide hot water for use in the structure or to generate electricity to be used in the structure and meets national safety and performance standards set by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for that kind of device.

Solar Energy Device
Shall mean an energy conserving device, including collectors, panels, storage tanks and all other hardware that is necessary and used as a part of the operating mechanism, that uses energy derived from the sun's radiation that is converted into thermal or electric energy to heat or cool a structure, to provide hot water for use in the structure or to generate electricity to be used in the structure and meets national safety and performance standards set by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for that kind of device.

B. Credit Authorized
In accordance with the provisions of Section 9-203 of the Tax-Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, there is hereby created a tax credit from County real property taxes levied on residential or nonresidential buildings or other structures that use solar energy devices or geothermal energy devices for heating and cooling buildings or structures or for supplying hot water for use within the buildings or other structures or generating electricity to be used in the structure. The tax credit shall be credit from the taxes levied on the buildings or other structures and not from the land.

C. Timely Filing of Applications
An application for a tax credit for using a solar energy device or geothermal energy device shall be filed on or before the first day of October immediately prior to the taxable year for which the tax credit is first sought. If the application is not so filed, it will be disallowed that year.

D. Amount of Credit
The total real property tax credit allowed under the provisions of this section shall be the lesser amount of up to a maximum of $2,500 for the cost of materials and installation or construction of the solar energy device or geothermal energy device, to apply against 1 year of property taxes, or the total amount of the real property taxes levied against the buildings or structures that is to be paid by the taxpayer for 1 year following the approval of the application.

E. Submission of Application
All applications for tax credits under this section shall be submitted to the Director of Administration only on forms prepared by that office. An application shall be filed one time only for the duration of the tax credit. Each application shall be made under oath or affirmation and shall contain a declaration preceding the signature of the applicant to the effect that it is made under the penalties of perjury as provided for by Section 9-203 of the Tax-Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Each application shall be accompanied by documented receipts of such purchase of materials or supplies and actual installation cost, if available; otherwise, the application shall be accompanied by a statement of the cost of the materials, supplies and installation cost, verified in the same manner as the application by a person competent to so certify.

F. Annual Limit on Amount of Credits Granted
The total tax credit allowed by Harford County for any 1 year may not exceed $500,000. The granting of credits shall be on a first-come-first-served basis, and, when the limitation is reached, any subsequent applications will be carried over to the next succeeding year or years.

Permits are all available in the Harford County Inspections, Licenses and Permits Office, which is located on the second floor at 220 South Main Street in Bel Air, Maryland.

Before a Solar/Geothermal Tax Credit is granted, the appropriate permits must be obtained and a final inspection made by Harford County.

Plumbing Permit
A plumbing permit is required for the installation of any solar hot water system. This permit may be obtained by a Master Plumber or a bonafide homeowner of a single family dwelling.

Electrical Permit
All installations using electricity require an electrical permit which must be obtained by a Master Electrician.

Building Permit
The addition of a solar room, or a system which connects to existing ductwork, requires a building permit and inspection by County building inspectors.