Non-residential / Commercial Properties

Are you a business owner or property manager? You can reduce stormwater runoff by replacing impervious surfaces like asphalt parking lots and cement sidewalks with permeable pavement, installing rain gardens or a green roof to help absorb and filter runoff, and planting trees.

For a non-residential/commercial prop­erty, CLICK HERE and enter the prop­erty address to view the related fee.

Commercial Stormwater Solutions Partnership Program

Commercial properties are eligible to partner with the County to install new or retrofit existing stormwater treatment practices in order to reduce their Watershed Protection Fee. To date we have successfully partnered with 8 commercial properties to retrofit existing stormwater facilities for increased water quantity and quality treatment, while providing these partners with a credit to their Fee.  Interested in partnering with the County to reduce your Watershed Protection Fee and improve stormwater treatment on your site?  Please reach out to Lindsay at

Non-residential and commercial prop­erty own­ers who improve the on-site man­age­ment of stormwa­ter by installing approved runoff con­trol prac­tices or reduce the amount of impervious surfaces are eligible for a project reim­burse­ment to help off­set the one-time cost of instal­la­tion, as well as a credit toward their Watershed Restoration Fee. 

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 10 percent of the total tax bill in the current Fiscal Year, then the Fee is automatically capped at 10 percent of the total tax bill for all non-residential/commercial properties.  
  • 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.

Learn more about the work group tasked with providing strategies to incentivize commercial property owners to better manage stormwater runoff. Click here for the Work Group's report.

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.  As of 2024 property tax bills, all non-residential/commercial prop­er­ties will be assessed a fee of $40 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.

If you believe you were incorrectly assessed, complete the watershed protection fee request for adjustment, for billing adjustment consideration.

More information about the protection fee can be found here.