ICC 500 storm shelterMost storm shelter manufacturers are familiar with ICC 500 ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters. The standard is the product of a joint project initiated in 2002 between the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA).” While manufacturers know the standard helps ensure consistent, safe performance of their shelters, it is less known that customers who purchase storm shelters may be eligible for tax credits and rebates.


Storm Shelter Tax Credits

States are taking notice of the benefits of standardized construction systems. In further support of the benefits these engineered systems can bring to their communities, the State of Alabama recently began administering the provisions of the Alabama Storm Shelter Tax Credit Act. The credit has a maximum value of $3,000 and is only available for residents who install a storm shelter that meets FEMA P-320, FEMA P-361, and ICC 500 on or after January 1, 2022. Rules about eligibility and applying are available on the Alabama Emergency Management Agency website.

Alabama is not the first State to discuss rebate or tax credit programs for storm shelters. In 2011, the State of Oklahoma drafted legislation and developed the SoonerSafe – Safe Room Rebate Program. The program differs in both scope (maximum rebate of $2,000) and rules, and storm shelter customers need to know the rules that may apply to them. Additional information about the SoonerSafe program can be found with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management.

The similarity in these and other programs is product compliance with the ICC 500 standard that the industry worked so hard to create. Storm shelter manufacturers benefit themselves and their customers by offering certified shelters and components to meet the ICC 500 standard.

About ICC NTA, LLC: As an accredited third-party agency and part of the International Code Council (ICC) Family of Solutions, ICC NTA provides code evaluation, product certification, inspection, engineering, plan review, and testing services, as well as independent quality and standards compliance verification for building product manufacturers. With offices, testing labs, and training facilities in Nappanee, Indiana and Bryan, Texas, ICC NTA serves residential and commercial builders, code officials, manufacturers, and suppliers throughout the building industry.