MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield offered testimony before the House Economic Matters Committee and submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on March 9 supporting HB 1014/SB 720 with amendments. These bills build upon legislation that passed last Session authorizing local governments to establish Clean Energy Loan Programs for assisting residential and commercial property owners with financing energy efficient and renewable energy projects. These loans are paid back through a surcharge placed on the owner’s property taxes.
Most important for local governments is langauge to clarify that a surcharge applied to the property owner’s tax bill, including interest and penalty, constitutes a lien against the property. MACo’s suggested amendments would authorize local governments to establish a revolving loan fund for this purpose, regardless of other statutory or charter provisions.
The bill was very well received in the House Economic Matters Committee. However, the Senate Finance Committee raised concerns with the lien provision and that some homeowners may not fully understand the requirements of the program and lose their homes.