LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Aug. 11, 2008)—The St. Mary's County Commissioners approved an ordinance on Tuesday, August 5 allowing for a one-time property tax credit to install residential fire protection sprinklers in homes where the systems are not required by law. The tax credit applies to either retrofitting existing homes or installation in a new home.
The Commissioners approved an ordinance in November 2007 requiring the installation of sprinklers in all new one- and two-family residential units served by public water. Maryland law also requires sprinklers in all new multifamily houses and townhouses.
Taxpayers may receive tax credit for the installation of a fire sprinkler system in a single family dwelling if the system is installed between February 1, 2008 and February 1, 2011. The amount of the tax credit for a new, single family dwelling is $1500 and the amount of the tax credit for homeowners retrofitting existing dwellings is $2000.
The amount of either tax credit may not exceed the amount of the net County property tax paid by the qualifying taxpayer.
The Commissioners cite saving lives as the justification for the requirement of sprinkler systems.
Residential sprinkler systems save lives, said Thomas Mattingly, County Commissioner. Increased use of sprinkler systems in other communities has resulted in saved lives of both firefighters and residents. I encourage our citizens to learn more about the value of sprinkler systems and seriously consider installing them in their current and next homes.