[Adopted 8-9-2007 by Bill No. 8-07, effective 9-24-2007 (Ch. 182, Art. IX, of the 1984 Code)]
Definitions. In this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS
- Significant improvements to or restoration or rehabilitation of properties located within the Virginia Avenue Area for Targeted Revitalization (VAATR) District of the City of Cumberland, as said District is established from time to time by ordinance of the City of Cumberland.
Declaration of public interest. The County Commissioners declare that it is in the general public interest to foster and encourage revitalization activities through improvement, restoration, and rehabilitation, and new construction of properties so as to:
Preserve and protect the heritage of the City of Cumberland as represented by its remaining buildings and structures;
Stimulate the positive aspects of revitalization, such as economic development and employment opportunities; and
Implement and effect planning activities aimed at preserving structures, sites, and districts.
Legislative intent. It is the intent of the County Commissioners that the taxation of significant improvements to and restoration and rehabilitation, and new construction of properties be maintained for a period of 10 years at taxation levels not greater than those in place before the eligible improvements if approved as part of the local government plan for revitalization as authorized by § 9-302(g) of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Tax credit. There shall be allowed a tax credit upon properties located in the VAATR District, which credit shall be the difference between the property taxes that, but for the tax credit, would be payable after the completion of eligible improvements, and the property tax that would be payable if the eligible improvements were not made.
Eligibility requirements. The property tax credit provided for in this article shall:
Be subject to eligibility requirements no less stringent than those applicable to credits authorized under § 9-302 of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland;
Be for a period that does not exceed 10 years for each property. The specific period of the property tax credit shall be the same for both commercial and residential and the costs of eligible improvements as compared to the value of the property if the eligible improvement had not been made as set forth below:
The amount of the tax credit granted may not exceed the amount of the initial valuation of the rehabilitation to the property or the new construction and the resulting phase-in of the valuation.
Qualification. In order to qualify for the tax credit provided for herein, the property owner must invest a minimum of $5,000 in improvement costs to the interior and exterior of the property, must submit construction plans for the improvements or renovations to the appropriate department of the City of Cumberland and must obtain the appropriate permits from the City of Cumberland.
Refund of tax credit.
If for any reason a property granted a tax credit pursuant to this article ceases to be located within the VAATR District, the owner may be required to refund such credit.
Should any property cease to be located within the VAATR District through no action of the owner, there shall be no refund of the tax credit required.
Should the property owner initiate any action that results in the property ceasing to be located within the VAATR District, the property owner shall be required to refund all tax credits received to date.
Certification of eligible properties by the City of Cumberland. The City of Cumberland shall provide certification to the Finance Office of the County as to those properties meeting the eligibility requirements for the VAATR District. The County shall grant a tax credit to those properties so certified and meeting the requirements of this article.