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Home Modification Tax Credits Pass in Maryland

April 18, 2017

Senate Bill 180 for home modification tax credits was signed into law by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on April 18. These credits will allow people living with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities afford to modify their homes to improve accessibility, increase safety and maintain independence.

MS activists Harry Rea  and Marina Baudoin shared with legislators their story regarding modifications needed in their home of nearly 30 years. In order to keep Harry living somewhat independently and to prevent him from falling, structural changes must be made. Stairs must be removed: there are three steps up into the house, one step down into the living room, and three more steps down onto the screened-in porch where they eat all their meals during the warmer months. While the master bedroom is on the main floor, a walker or wheelchair does not fit into the master bathroom. The bathroom needs its doorframe widened as well as installation of a roll-in shower and grab bars. Marina expects the home renovations to cost nearly $50,000—which is out of reach. 

While the Independent Living Tax Credit won’t cover the full expense of their renovations, it will ease some of the financial burden so that Marina and Harry—and families like theirs—can make life-changing modifications and improve the safety of their home.

The tax credit was a key focal point of the National MS Society’s Maryland State Action Day in March. Maryland becomes the eighth state to enact such legislation (Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine Missouri, New Hampshire and Virginia).

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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