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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Baltimore County - Property Tax Credit for High Performance Buildings and Homes   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/15/2012
Program Overview:
State: Maryland
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Multi-Family Residential
Amount:Commercial: 10% - 80% of county real property taxes assessed for 3 - 5 years
Homes (LEED or NGBS): 40% - 100% of county real property taxes assessed for 3 - 5 years
Homes (Energy Improvements): varies, equal to the % of energy efficiency improvement over a baseline of existing home or the energy code for new homes
Maximum Incentive:No limits for individual buildings but total credits issued are limited as follows:
Commercial: $5 million total in aggregate
Homes: $1 million in aggregate in any fiscal year
Equipment Requirements:Commercial: Minimum Silver certification under LEED-NC, LEED-CS, or LEED-EB
Homes: Minimum Silver certification under LEED for Homes or NGBS, or minimum energy savings of 30% compared to baseline
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Effective:
Baltimore County Code § 11-2-203.1
08/24/2006 (subsequently amended)
Authority 2:
Date Effective:
Baltimore County Code § 11-2-203.2
06/04/2008 (subsequently amended)

The state of Maryland permits local governments (Md Code: Property Tax § 9-242) to offer property tax credits for high performance buildings if they choose to do so. Baltimore County exercised this option in 2006 by creating property tax credits for new and existing multi-family residential (50+ units) and commercial buildings that meet certain high performance building standards. In 2008, the county also adopted a similar provision creating property tax credits for newly constructed high performance homes, and in 2010 added provisions for energy efficiency improvements in existing homes.

The credit is formulated as a percentage (%) reduction in total county real property taxes assessed on the property over the course of several years. The level and duration of the allowable credit varies according to building type and level of performance. The non-residential property tax credits are based wholly on achieving a specified rating and certification under the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED green building rating system. The property tax credit for homes also uses green building rating systems as a qualification standard, but includes an additional track that allows a home to qualify for a credit based on its level of efficiency as compared to an energy use baseline. The credit for high performance homes originally required a minimum LEED for Homes rating, but the law was amended during 2012 to allow homes rated under the the International Code Council (ICC) NGBS to qualify. Both standards include not only single-family homes, but also attached housing, and low-rise (up to 6 stories), multi-family condominiums and rental housing. The table below summarizes the different tax credit levels and durations for different building types.

Commercial and Multi-family Residential (income producing, 50+ units)

Performance Level Credit Amount Term
LEED-NC Platinum 80% 5 years
LEED-NC Gold 60% 5 years
LEED-NC Silver 50% 5 years
LEED-CS Platinum 70% 5 years
LEED-CS Gold 50% 5 years
LEED-CS Silver 40% 5 years
LEED-EB Platinum 50% 3 years
LEED-EB Gold 25% 3 years
LEED-EB Silver 10% 3 years

Residential Homes

Performance Level Credit Amount Term
LEED for Homes Platinum or NGBS Emerald 100% 3 years
LEED for Homes or NGBS Gold 60% 3 years
LEED for Homes or NGBS Silver 40% 3 years
30%+ Energy Efficiency Improvement Varies by % Improvement, 30% Minimum 3 years
All Performance Levels, Carbon Neutral Varies by Performance 5 years

For residential home, new construction projects that take the energy performance track, the baseline for determining a 30% energy improvement is the county building code. For existing homes the baseline is determined by the existing energy efficiency of the structure prior to the improvements.

Under either the commercial credit or the residential credit, only one credit is permitted per building. In order to claim a credit, the property owner must submit an application or before the June 1 immediately preceding the property tax year for which the credit is sought. Changes in property ownership do not affect the credit, which runs with the property. The credit may be terminated if it is determined that alterations which do not comply with the law have been made to the structure. Property tax credits for commercial structures are limited to $5 million in total while property tax credits for residential homes are limited to $1 million in any fiscal year. There are no limits for individual buildings.

  Baltimore County - Tax Payer Services
Office of Budget and Finance
400 Washington Ave, Room 150
Towson, MD 21204-4665
Phone: (410) 887-2404
Web Site:
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.