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ANNAPOLIS, MD-Maryland’s developers were disappointed, but hardly surprised, when the state’s legislative session ended last week without funding the Maryland Green Building Tax Credit. Indeed the tax credit program had run out of funding at the end of 2005, Michael Li, assistant director in Maryland’s Energy Administration, tells GlobeSt.com.

“It was doubtful it was going to pass this session to be frank,” he says. “There was talk of the structural deficit the state is facing and of the importance of not reducing revenue or increasing spending by any large amount.”

The session did pass a bill, though, that will create a Maryland Green Building Council, he adds. The council will identify opportunities to promote green buildings. However, it is not a financial incentive, which is most important to developers–especially those building their first green projects when costs are typically the highest, at least until the learning curve is mastered.

In some cases, the tax credit can make all the difference in whether a developer will opt for green building technology. For instance, Cole Schnorf, senior vice president and director of development at Manekin LLC, tells GlobeSt.com that it would have taken the company much longer to reach an ROI for its new green headquarters without the tax credit. Manekin is one of the companies that was able to use the state’s program before it ran out of funding.

Earlier this year Manekin moved its headquarters to 8601 Robert Fulton Dr., in Columbia. Manekin designed the two-story brick and ribbon glass, 52,000-sf building to LEED Certified Silver new construction standards–Howard County’s first such building, according to Manekin execs. Manekin occupies 34,000 sf of the new building and leases the remaining space.

The building was designed to deliver a 35% energy savings by leveraging the efficient HVAC system, low e-glass, automatic dimming of lighting during daylight hours, enlarged side lights and motion sensors. Still, though, Schnorf says, the company will decide to develop green on a case-by-case basis, crunching the numbers for each project to see if it is feasible.

Maryland’s credit provided 8% of the total cost of the building. Buildings had to be located in priority funding area and be at least 20,000 sf.

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