Welcome to Tax Credit Central
Howard County provides a variety of Real Property Tax Credits designed to meet the needs of County taxpayers and to promote specific activity that is beneficial to the County as a whole.
Residential Tax Credits – Income Based
- Senior Tax Credit
- Tax Deferral Program for Elderly or Disabled Homeowners
- Trash, Bay, and Watershed Protection Fee Hardship Tax Credit
- Public Safety Officer Property Tax Credit
- Homeowner's Property Tax Credit
Senior Tax Credit
Attn: Application Due Date is October 1, 2021
A County Tax credit is available for homeowners who are at least 65 years old and have a combined household income that does not exceed 500% of the Federal poverty guidelines for a household of 2 for tax year 2021, which is $87,100.
The combined net worth of the household must not exceed $500,000. Net worth means, after deducting outstanding liabilities, the sum of the current market value of all assets including real property, cash, savings accounts, bonds, and other investments; but not including the dwelling for which a property tax credit is sought, the cash value of any life insurance policies on the life of the homeowner, and tangible personal property.
The amount of credit is 25% of the County property tax due in the current year after applying the Homestead Credit authorized under 9-105 of the Tax Property Tax Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The amount of the credit shall be calculated after all other credits granted for the property have been applied. Applicants for the Senior Tax Credit are required to apply for all other credits that may be available for that property.
To complete the application, click on the link below. You must save a copy of the application to your computer. Close the internet. Open the saved file on your computer, fill in the required information, print the form, sign it and mail it to the Howard County Department of Finance per the instructions on the application.
Tax Deferral Program for Elderly or Disabled Homeowners
A new tax deferral program is now available that will allow qualifying homeowners the option of deferring that portion of county property tax currently due which is in excess of the county property tax paid the previous year. To be eligible for the tax deferral program, homeowners must be:
|Household size||Maximum Gross Income|
Trash, Bay, and Watershed Protection Fee Hardship Tax Credit
Howard County has a Hardship Exemption for low income users of County Water & Sewer Service. If you are a homeowner living in your property, you can apply for both the Bay Fee Hardship Exemption and the Trash Fee Credit with one form as the requirements for qualification are the same.
Homeowners with limited income may qualify for a 60% credit against the Trash Fee and Watershed Protection Fee and 100% of Bay Fee. Income limits for the 2021 credit application:
|Household Size||Max Income|
Homeowner's Property Tax Credit
Maryland’s Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit program is administered by the State and granted to eligible homeowners of all ages. The program provides tax credits for homeowners who meet certain household income and net worth limits.
• Eligible maximum household income to qualify is $60,000.
• The maximum assessment to which the credit applies is $300,000.
• The cash value of any qualified retirement plan or individual retirement account is not considered in the Net Worth calculation for the purpose of eligibility for the credit.
To receive the County and/or State Homeowner's Credit, you must file an application before September 1st. To apply for both homeowners credits you only need to file the State Homeowner Credit Application.
For more info and to download an application, visit their website at SDAT Property Tax Credits or call 410-767-4433.
Homeowner’s Credits are displayed on the tax bills. The amount of the credit will appear on the bill and reduces the tax amount due. If the credit is issued after the taxes are paid, a refund will automatically be made to the taxpayer. If you are anticipating a tax credit, but it has not been granted as of the due date of your taxes, pay the taxes in full to avoid interest and penalties.
Other Residential Tax Credits
- Aging in Place Tax Credit
- Homestead Tax Credit
- Livable Home Tax Credit
- Tax Credit for Disabled Law Enforcement Officer or Rescue Worker
- Tax Credit for Real Property Jointly Owned by the Housing Commission
- Tax Credit for Surviving Spouse of Law Enforcement Officer or Rescue Worker
Aging in Place Tax Credit
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic closures and USPS delays, the due date for the Aging in Place tax credit is extended to June 30, 2021.
This program provides a tax credit for property owned by an individual:
1) Who is at least 65 years old by June 30 and has lived in the same dwelling for at least the preceding 40 years OR
2) Who is at least 65 years old by June 30 and is a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) with 20 years of active service OR
3) Who is at least 65 years old by June 30, is a surviving spouse of a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States, with 20 years of active service, and is not remarried.
Homestead Tax Credit
If your property in Howard County is your primary residence, then your property is eligible for the Homestead Credit during any year in which your assessment increases by more than 5%. You need to submit the one-time Homestead Application to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
To determine if you have already filed, go to the Department’s website , click on Real Property Database to find your property. At the bottom of the page for your property, you will see the Homestead Application Status.
How to Apply
If you have received an application with an access code, you can apply online. If not you can print, complete and mail the form available on SDAT’s website.
Any homeowner requiring special assistance may call the Homestead Program of the Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-767-2165 from the Baltimore Metropolitan area or (toll free) 1-866-650-8783 elsewhere.
Livable Home Tax Credit
- A tax credit may be available for certain types of accessibility features (defined in the county code Section 20-129C) installed in a Howard County homeowner’s principal residence.
- The property owner may file an application to receive the credit against county tax for a feature that is installed on an existing residence as long as the home is the owner’s principal residence when the feature is installed.
- The amount of the credit is equal to 100% of the eligible cost or $2,500, whichever is less.
- For some of the work, you may have to obtain a permit from the Department of Inspections, Licenses, & Permits (DILP) for the work. See the list of eligible feature for information regarding necessity for a permit
- For more information call the Howard County Tax Credit Line at 410-313-4076 weekdays between 8am and 5pm.
Tax Credit for Disabled Law Enforcement Officer or Rescue Worker
This program provides a credit to a permanently and totally disabled law enforcement officer who became disabled in the course of employment or a permanently and totally disabled rescue worker who became disabled while in active service. The dwelling must have been owned by the applicant at the time of disability or acquired within ten years of the date of disability. Credit is equal to 100% of the taxes on the dwelling and curtilage.
Tax Credit for Real Property Jointly Owned by the Housing Commission
This program provides a credit on property jointly owned by the Housing Commission and the resident of the property. Property owner must reside in the property. Credit is equal to County Taxes multiplied by the percentage owned by the Housing Commission.
Tax Credit for Surviving Spouse of Law Enforcement Officer or Rescue Worker
This program provides a credit to the surviving spouse or cohabitant of a law enforcement officer who dies in the course of employment or rescue worker who dies while in active service.
Spouse cannot have remarried and the dwelling must have been owned by the deceased at the time of death or acquired by the surviving spouse or cohabitant within ten years of officers/workers death. Credit is equal to 100% of the taxes on the dwelling and curtilage.
Residential and Commercial Property Tax Credits
- Tax Credit for Day Care Providers
- Tax Credit for Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Historic Buildings
- State Exemptions
- High Performance Building Credit
Tax Credit for Day Care Providers
This program provides a tax credit on improvements made to property used exclusively for the purpose of providing family or group adult day care or child day care by a licensed or accredited provider. Credit is equal to the lesser of $3000 annually or the amount of County property tax attributable to the improvement.
Tax Credit for Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Historic Buildings
This program provides a tax credit on automated fire protection sprinkler systems installed in an historic property. Credit is equal to 10% of the installation cost awarded for five consecutive years up to the amount of County tax due.
The State of Maryland provides for exemptions from Property Tax for a variety of types of properties,, including those owned by blind individuals and disabled veterans. More information available at:
SDAT Exemption Info
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|
|Platinum||Emerald||191 to 251 points|
|Gold||Gold||164 to 190 points|
|Silver||Silver||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 call 410-313-4075.
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 Silver Certification||16%|
|LEED Gold Certification||18%|
|LEED Platinum Certification||20%|
Commercial Tax Credits
- Agricultural Land Preservation Program
- Property Tax Credit for Conservation Land
- Property Tax Credit for Commercial & Industrial Properties
- Tax Credit for Property Leased by Religious Groups or Organizations
Property Tax Credit for Conservation Land
Program provides property tax credits to owners of conservation land or property owned by a Land Trust. Tax Credit is for 100% of County Tax.
Information and Application
Property Tax Credit for Commercial & Industrial Properties
Program provides property tax credits to commercial or industrial businesses that make a substantial investment in the County which includes investment in new construction or an improvement to an existing facility. This program is administered by the Economic Development Authority of Howard County requires a lengthy approval process which includes job creation targets that must be met before the credit is disbursed. Contact HCEDA for more information. (410-313-6500)
Tax Credit for Property Leased by Religious Groups or Organizations
This program provides a property tax credit leased by a religious organization if the organization would have qualified for a property tax exemption under § 7-204 of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland if it owned the property. Application must be made annually and a copy of the lease must be provided.
Information and Application
Additional Commercial Tax Credits
- Brownfield Enterprise Zone Tax Credit
- Rt. 1 Tax Improvements Tax Credit
- Tax Credit for Therapeutic Riding Facilities
- Tax Credit for Amateur Sports Athletic Fields
Brownfield Enterprise Zone Tax Credit
This program provides a property tax credit to the owner of a property who participates in a voluntary cleanup program with the State Department of the Environment equal to 70% of the increased property tax liability attributable to the cleanup for 5 years. Click here for more information on the Voluntary Cleanup Program.
Rt. 1 Tax Improvements Tax Credit
This program provides a property tax credit to certain eligible improvements on commercial properties adjacent to Route 1 or next to a Route 1 parcel and visible from the roadway or a tax parcel contained within the perimeter on the “20.129D Map”
Tax Credit for Therapeutic Riding Facilities
This program provides a property tax credit therapeutic riding facilities that furnish services to disabled individuals, at least 85% of its clients are disabled and the owner is a non-profit organization. Application must be made annually.