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Expanding the Property Tax Credit for Energy-Efficient Homes

New legislation shows that sound environmental policies can be good for taxpayers. We should be doing all we can to encourage the construction of energy-efficient homes that consumers will buy.

This past weekend, we marked the observance of Earth Day. I joined volunteers at a tree planting and community clean-up in the Ridgeleigh neighborhood off Loch Raven Boulevard, and I salute the volunteers throughout the Fifth District who helped at other events, from Towson to Perry Hall.

The Baltimore County Council elected in 2010 has passed many measures to help improve the environment. The first legislation I sponsored, Bill 2-11, created a Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to help expand our trail network and increase bicycling. Bill 7-12 established the first-ever zoning category for open space. Other bills have strengthened the role of
NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, which preserves undeveloped land.

In 2010, the previous County Council passed legislation that provides a property tax credit for three years for either a new home that exceeds the Home Energy Rating System by 40 percent or for an existing home whose energy performance is increased by 40 percent. I have introduced Bill 23-12, which also qualifies homes that meet the International Code Council’s National Green Building Standard. The new standard judges not just the unit, but site development plans and other factors.

The new legislation shows that sound environmental policies can be good for taxpayers as well. We should be doing all we can to encourage the construction of energy-efficient homes that consumers will buy.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ron Burgundy April 24, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I agree on the Oliver front. It does appear, having not been there,that his vote was never promised. As far as being "courted", it's been my experience this is all part of the "game". You want federal funding for highways, then your speed limit is 55.I understand that part, case in point the debacle in Annapolis 2 weeks ago. I don't say it makes good government but there are times compromise or "deals" are made. Even Rick Santorum admitted to that, "sometimes you vote a certain way to go along". It is our system. It's when you back away from that commitment and then cry to the press that gets my goat. I have no stomach for folks that have no integrity. I saw it that way and that's why I have been vocal on the subject.
Ron Burgundy April 24, 2012 at 02:15 AM
PS. I still don't understand why Mr. Marks refuses to comment. Either confirm or deny the allegation. Did you/he commit his vote and then back off. It's a simple yes or no answer. Again, by his/their silence I'm more confident then ever it's as I thought.And truthfully, I'm disappointed in my Councilman, I thought he was more than he's showing at the present time.
K Blue April 24, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you and I read things differently on this one. I am not totally naive, but doubt that people who were going along to get along/get something would ask so many questions and ask for further clarification on figures and method. I am glad you agree about Councilman Oliver. Thats one less call I have to make tomorrow.
K Blue April 24, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Its easier to make a phone call. Since he is your councilman, you should feel comfortable contacting his office directly. Perhaps if you left a number for him, he could call you directly. This issue is obviously important to you. Message boards can be so impersonal. I have seen many demands or allegations aimed at elected officials on these comment boards go unanswered. I wouldnt infer anything from it. If they spent even a small portion of their time responding via forums, I doubt they could get much done.
charles richardson April 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Ron certainly seems to be a huge supporter of this administration. One can only guess whether he or she would have been as supportive of Joe Bartenfelter or Ken Holt but most of the posts I've read on Patch seem to go against the grain of the administration. Any outside observer would say there seems to be a an organized effort to discredit this administration. Dirty politics has been with us since the birth of the nation, it isn't going away. I would prefer to look at the situations and not see red,blue,white or black. Patch has given a voice to individuals but most of the blogs are like talk radio, heavily skewed against the current administration and certainly more "right" leaning than left. That's unfortunate. While Ron may have an agenda the points raised seem to be fair. As does the charge that this administration based investments on support of bills. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.The Councilman knows full well his votes have consequences at the same time decisions should be based for the good of all Baltimore County citizens. Hopefully,for the benefit of all the situation gets resolved as no one wins and we all lose.

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