Harford County offers a tax credit from real property taxes imposed on residential buildings, nonresidential buildings, or other structures that use solar or geothermal devices for heating, cooling, water heating or generating electricity for on-site consumption. The credit amount is equal to one year of total real property taxes or $2,500 per device, whichever is less. In September 2010 the county added a provision limiting total credits to $5,000 per property per fiscal year. Total real property taxes include all real property taxes that would have been paid by the taxpayer for that year for the host building or structure, but not on the land. The original 2006 credit applied only to solar heating and cooling devices and had a limit of $1,000. Subsequent 2007 amendments added geothermal devices as an eligible technology, electricity generation as an eligible end-use, and increased the maximum credit to $2,500.
In order to qualify for a tax credit, devices must meet national safety and performance standards as set by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for that type of device. A one-time application must be submitted to the Harford County Director of Administration on or before October 1 prior to the taxable year for which the credit is sought. The total volume of tax credits allowed for any one year was formerly limited to $150,000, but this limit was been raised to $250,000 effective July 1, 2010. Credits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis with applications that exceed the annual limit carried over to succeeding years. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to two years. The application is available at the web site above.