County Comment: Son of stimulus, or stim-2

County Comment
Son of stimulus, or stim-2
By Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

In its regular meeting on February 22nd, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners voted to reestablish the Residential Stimulus program for an 8-month period this year, beginning on March 1st.
Similar to one adopted by the County Commissioners in November 2009, the program is designed to address high unemployment in the county by providing an incentive to new construction. The goal of this program is to encourage new home and addition construction projects by providing temporary relief in the application of the Washington County Excise Tax. New single family residences and residential additions were provided a credit in up front incentives that could reduce amount required as down payment, increasing the possibility of loan qualification, or even reducing monthly payments.
The program applies to one and two family residences, modular and mobile homes, condominiums, and residential additions. Building permits must be applied for and issued between March 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011
A maximum of 6 permits will be allowed per builder and Framing Inspection must be made within six (6) months of permit issuance with Use and Occupancy (U&O) Certificate issued within eighteen (18) months of permit issuance, with no extensions allowed. Mobile and modular home U&O's must be issued within 12 months of original permit issuance.
Each applicant will receive a credit of up to 3,000 square feet, maximum, or $9,000, applied to the amount of tax due as determined by the excise tax ordinance. Any applicable APFO requirement or school capacity tests are still in force and must be satisfied before any new permit application will be accepted. Applicants operating under a current Mitigation Agreement with the county are eligible to participate and will receive any applicable stimulus credit. Each municipality may choose independently to participate in the program. Those who choose not to participate will retain 28% of the Excise Tax as calculated by the current ordinance.
Any violation of the provisions of this program will result in the immediate application of the full excise tax due on the project as determined by the ordinance as well as all county permitting fees. Additional fees will be due and payable immediately and a stop work order will be posted on the project site and will remain in affect until the fees are paid. A Use and Occupancy Certification shall be withheld as well as any new permits applied for by the builder. If applicable, the county shall place a lien on the property in the amount of the additional fees.
The 2009-2010 program resulted in 78 new homes and 51 additions started, resulting in 244 Trade Permits issued.