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Tax Credits - Energy Conservation Credits

High Performance Building Credit


A High Performance Building Credit is available for owners of a Commercial building that achieves at least a silver rating according to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system or an R-2 or R-3 building that achieves at least a silver rating under the LEED for Homes Rating System or a comparable rating system that the Director of Inspections, Licenses and Permits may adopt by regulation.

Comparable systems currently recognized by the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits are the silver certification level of the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 and the Green Neighborhood score of at least 136. 

 The equivalency is as follows:

 LEED Level  

ICC 700 Level  

Green Neighborhood Equivalent  



191 to 251 points 



164 to 190 points 



136 to 163 points 


Tax Credits will be granted against the County Tax imposed on the building as follows:

Commercial Core & Shell or New Constructions (for five years)

LEED Silver or equivalent  25%
LEED Gold or equivalent   50%
LEED Platinum or equivalent  75%


Commercial Existing Building (for three years) 

LEED Silver or equivalent  10%
LEED Gold or equivalent   25%
LEED Platinum or equivalent  50%

Click HERE for the Commercial Application 


R-2 or R-3 Building

LEED Silver or equivalent 

Year 1 –75%     Year 2 – 56%   Year 3 –38%   Year 4 –19%

LEED Gold or equivalent   

Year 1 –90%     Year 2 – 68%   Year 3- 45%   Year 4 – 23%  

LEED Platinum or equivalent  

Year 1 –100%  Year 2 –75%    Year 3 – 50%   Year 4 – 25%


R-2 and R-3 credits may not exceed $5,000 per building in any one fiscal year, except that each owner occupied unit is allowed a credit not to exceed $5,000.

Click HERE for the R-2 and R-3 Application 

Registration for High Performance Building (HBP) Property Tax Credit


Effective July 1, 2012, property owners whose intention is to construct a building that would be eligible for the High Performance Building Property Tax Credit under Howard County Code §20.129B may register their intention with the County prior to beginning construction by completing a High Performance Building Property Tax Credit Registration form.


In order to register, if the property owner intends to use the standards set by the U.S. Green Building  Council (USGBC), the property owner must have already registered their project with the USGBC.  If they are using ICC 700 or Green Neighborhood standards, such designations should be included on their building plans.  In either case, they must have obtained a building permit from the Howard County Department of License and Permits.  Failure to maintain an active building permit will result in removal from the list of registered properties. 

Upon completion of the project, the property owner must present a completed HPB Tax Credit Application along with documentation of the LEED or equivalent certification to the Howard County Department of Finance.  A property owner is not prevented from applying for the HBP Property Tax Credit if they fail to register for the program prior to beginning construction.

Click HERE for the Registration Form 


For more information on these credits or registration form call 410-313-3196.


Green Building


Those buildings that do not meet the criteria for the High Performance Building Credit, may be able to receive a credit under our Green Building Tax Credit program. This credit is a percentage of the amount spent to install an energy conservation device in a LEED certified building for a period of three years. The credit may not exceed the amount of the County taxes owed on the building.


LEED Certification
LEED Silver Certification
LEED Gold Certification
LEED Platinum Certification




For more information, call 410-313-4075.