Tax Credit for Energy-Saving Systems May Be Delayed 5 Years
Tax credits of $5,000 for the installation of energy-saving solar, wind or geothermal systems in Montgomery County homes are so popular that the program is over-subscribed.
If you installed energy-saving solar, wind or geothermal systems in your home anticipating a $5,000 tax credit from Montgomery County, you may have a long wait before you get it...maybe as long as five years.
WTTG-TV, channel 5, reported on its newscast last Monday evening that the county faced a big backlog in requests for the energy tax credit refund and that a notice was posted on Montgomery County's website warning of the delay.
Sure enough, that notice is there.
As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, a paragraph on the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection website states:
"Please note that demand for energy-efficiency and renewable energy property tax credits has outstripped the annual budget of $100,000 for energy-efficiency credits and $400,000 for renewable energy credits. The current wait time for payment of credits is at least 5 years. Applicants will be paid in the order that applications were received as long as funding is available. Please contact the Department of Finance for more information."
Fact is, it looks like the program has been so successful in attracting homeowners to the credit that there's at least a $2.5 million backlog in processing the payments, apparently due to budgetary reasons and other factors, reported Melanie Alnwick of Fox 5 News.
About 275 energy tax credit payments have been issued in the program's first three years but there are another 500 or so on the waiting list.
In a nutshell, this may be a case of a county government program that has become so popular that it may not survive.
Interestingly, Channel 5's report quoted Montgomery County Council Chairman Roger Berliner basically making that point.
"This program achieved everything we wanted it to achieve," said Berliner, who helped create the program in 2008.
Everyone seems to agree it's a great idea, but in tight economic times, how do you pay for it? Any ideas?