You can make a big impact on stormwater pollution by increasing the amount of stormwater runoff absorbed on your non-residential/commercial property. Plus, you'll also reduce your Watershed Protection Fee.
Commercial Stormwater Solutions Work Group
The Watershed Protection Fee aims to improve the water quality of streams and rivers in your neighborhood and the Chesapeake Bay by funding projects that treat Howard County stormwater runoff. All non-residential/commercial properties will be assessed a fee of $15 for every 500 square feet of impervious area on a parcel. For the purpose of this fee, impervious area is defined as rooftops, driveways, parking areas, and private roads (including compact gravel areas). The impervious area is determined via aerial photography.
For a non-residential/commercial property, CLICK HERE and enter the property address to view the related fee. ** Please note this is impervious data from 2016. Data for 2017 is being compiled **
Reimbursement - NEW UPDATED 2020 REIMBURSEMENT RATES!
For property owners who improve the on-site management of stormwater by installing some form of runoff control practice or reduce the amount of impervious surface, the County established a project reimbursement fund that will help offset the one-time cost of installation. CLICK HERE for details of the Non-residential Reimbursement Program and NEW UPDATED 2020 RATES.
If you are interested in the Non-residential/Commercial Reimbursement Program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All non-residential/commercial properties are eligible to receive a credit based on the percentage of the fee equivalent to the percentage of impervious surface area treated on site with a stormwater facility/BMP up to 100% (restrictions apply - see below and CR78-2019). All credit applications are due by April 1 to be applied to that year's billing cycle. All credit applicants must provide the caluclation for the percentage of impervious surface area treated on site with engineer approval. Please complete the appropriate credit application below:
- Properties developed under a Site Development Plan (SDP) dated AFTER January 1, 2003 are eligible for up to a 50% credit. APPLY HERE.
- Properties developed under a SDP dated BEFORE January 1, 2003 are eligible for a credit for the impervious area being treated to current standards, above what was required at the time of development. All practices requesting credit must meet 2000 MDE Stormwater Design Manual standards and are eligible for up to 100% credit. APPLY HERE.
- A 100% credit may be applied to the fee:
- for a property that is found to enjoy no benefit from the County's Stormwater Management, Storm Drainage, and Water Quality Program OR
- if the property owner partners with the County to install updated stormwater treatment that provides enhanced water quality above what currently exists or is required on the property.
Hardship Fee Adjustment
There are several fee adjustments available to reduce the hardship impact of the Watershed Protection Fee on non-residential/commercial property owners.
- If the Watershed Protection Fee is greater than 15 percent of the total tax bill in Fiscal Year 2017, then the Fee is automatically capped at 15 percent of the total tax bill for all non-residential/commercial properties. Each subsequent year the cap percentage will be lowered 5%, for example if the Fee is greater than 10% of the total tax bill in FY 2018, then the Fee is automatically capped at 10% of the total tax bill. This continues until the percentage hardship reaches a 5% cap in FY 2019.
- If, after the percentage adjustment, the Fee is greater than $1,000, the owner has the opportunity to prove financial hardship by submitting a defined series of documents to Howard County. If a hardship is verified, then the owner pays only $1,000. APPLY HERE.
For more information on any of these programs, please contact the Office of Community Sustainability at 410−313−0678.