The Maryland Catholic Conference offers this testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 644 (HB 644). The Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders.
HB 644 will offer a state income tax credit to individuals or corporations that renovate a home with specified accessibility and visibility features to assist people with disabilities. The tax credit is valued at fifty percent of the renovation or construction costs incurred during the taxable year, up to $5,000.
The Maryland Catholic Conference supports HB 644 because it will provide a financial incentive to individuals and corporations to facilitate home use by persons with disabilities. The Church supports policies “that enable individuals with disabilities... to achieve the fullest measure of personal development [possible] ”, and encourages their participation in society. Providing people and corporations with the means to construct accessible homes allows those with disabilities to live safely and comfortably in their own homes, while also preventing their premature placement into nursing facilities. Thus, HB 644 encourages people with disabilities to live independently, and promotes their active participation in social life. The Maryland Catholic Conference works to support policies that enable people with disabilities to live healthy, independent lives.
It is for these reasons that the Maryland Catholic Conference respectfully urges a favorable report for HB 644. Thank you for your consideration.