As if we weren’t all up to our ears already in dealing with taxes, I am going to talk about a state tax credit that will reimburse you for some of the costs incurred in making your home more accessible. Let me start out by saying I don’t believe that tax policy should be used by any government as a means of manipulating individual citizen’s behavior, and that we all pay entirely too much in taxes. That being said, I want to explain this tax credit because it will be helpful to many people in funding their home modifications.

The stated purpose of the program is to improve accessibility and provide universal visitability. Visitability simply means that a home has an accessible route to one zero step entry, one accessible bathroom, and an eating area. The tax credit applies toward the purchase of a new home, or retrofitting an existing home. If you are purchasing a new home, the home must meet the criteria of visitability or include at least three accessibility features. If you are retrofitting an existing home, the work must include one accessibility feature or provide sensory modifications. Most modifications that make it easier to access or use your home will qualify. Some accessibility features are:

  • Accessible route such as a ramp
  • Lifts
  • Elevators
  • Zero step entrance
  • 32” clear width doorways
  • 36” clear width hallways
  • Accessible switches, outlets, and controls
  • Accessible bathrooms
  • Accessible and usable kitchen facilities
  • Grab bars
  • Sensory modifications

The credit is currently $500 up to 25% of the cost of the new home or the remodeling project, but is slated to increase to $2,000 and up to 50% of the cost for 2010. The application for 2010 must be submitted by February 28, 2011 to qualify for the credit. If you have any questions about the Livable Homes Tax Credit, Universal Design, Aging in Place or any other aspects of staying in your home for a lifetime, please give me a call at (540) 384-2064 or email me at I would be happy to help you in any way that I can.

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