Mongtomery County lawmaker proposes tax on teardown homes

Rural house by the road. The construction shows the traditional style of the Southern USA architecture. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A bill is up for debate in Montgomery County which its sponsors say would close a loophole and subject homeowners who tear down a home and build a bigger one to a tax that would go toward affordable housing and schools.

The county charges an impact fee to homeowners and developers who build any dwelling from the ground up where one doesn't already exist, but people who tear down existing homes don't have to pay the fee.

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Councilmember Evan Glass (At-Large) is one of the cosponsors. The proposal is to charge teardown homeowners nine dollars for every square foot larger the new home is than the one that existed in its place.

"What I'm doing is putting forth a proposal to raise some funds for affordable housing and our schools by using our current building codes and making sure that every new housing structure helps contribute to our growing needs," said Glass.

Glass expects the fee to raise $10 million per year.

The fee would not apply to additions or on homes built after 1986, for which the original home was already assessed the fee.

Critics of the tax say the county already makes enough money from these kinds of rebuilds and they worry it will slow down growth.