My neighbors in Northern California have done an excellent job of being drought-aware and reducing water consumption — we have buckets in our showers, our plants are on a drip system, and the lawns are brown. But, when I walk through my neighborhood, I have mixed emotions about all the brown lawns. While I am pleased to see them saving water, I am disappointed that they have lost some curb appeal. But that can change! Many cities now have incentive programs and rebates and they will pay YOU to replace your lawn with attractive but drought resistant landscaping.
This morning I attended an excellent presentation by Elise Howard and Deb Lane of the City of Santa Rosa and learned of the plethora of ways they will pay me to save water!
As a Residential Customer in Santa Rosa, you can receive a rebate for:
- Removing turf or improving the efficiency of your irrigation system
- Implementing a graywater system
- Implementing a rainwater harvesting system
- Implementing a recirculating hot water pump
- Installing a High-efficiency clothes washer
- Proving you have a sustained reduction of water
As a Business Customer in Santa Rosa, you can receive a rebate for many of the same items above as well as:
- Rebate for high-efficiency toilet or urinal
- Rebate for a dedicated irrigation account or a separate meter for irrigation
- Reduced sewer fees when implement available technologies
Don’t get surprised at tax time
Unfortunately your rebates are taxable to the Feds and water agencies may issue you a 1099 if your rebate was more than $600. Ugh!
The GOOD NEWS is that California does NOT tax the turf-removal rebate. Hooray! Thanks to AB 2434, your turf-removal rebate is tax-free to CA from 2014 through 2018.