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Statutes Text

Article - Tax - Property




§9–323.

    (a)    (1)    The governing body of Washington County or of a municipal corporation in Washington County may grant, by law, a property tax credit under this section against the county or municipal corporation property tax imposed on:

            (i)    new construction or on an improvement to existing property;

            (ii)    property that is:

                1.    owned by a nonprofit civic association;

                2.    used only for a community, civic, educational, or library purpose; and

                3.    unless the compensation is used only to improve or maintain the property, use of the property is not contingent on the payment of compensation for admission to or use of the property and failure to pay compensation is not a reason to deny admission to or use of the property;

            (iii)    real property that is owned by the Women’s Club of Hagerstown, Inc.;

            (iv)    property that is owned by the Rohrersville Cornet Band of Washington County;

            (v)    real property that is owned and occupied as the principal residence of an individual serving as:

                1.    a volunteer firefighter;

                2.    a member of the fire police; or

                3.    an emergency medical technician; or

            (vi)    real property that is owned by the Hagerstown Soccer Club, Inc.

        (2)    The law adopted under paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection shall specify:

            (i)    the qualifications for the tax credit;

            (ii)    the amount of the property tax credit, based on a percentage of the cost of any new construction or of any improvement to existing property, and not based on the increase in the assessment; and

            (iii)    the duration of the tax credit.

        (3)    In authorizing a credit under paragraph (1)(v) of this subsection, the governing body of the county or municipal corporation may provide, by law, for:

            (i)    the amount of the credit;

            (ii)    the duration of the credit; and

            (iii)    any other provision necessary to administer the credit.

    (b)    (1)    The governing body of Washington County shall grant a property tax credit under this section against the county property tax imposed on:

            (i)    property that is owned by the District 15 Civic Association, Incorporated, of Big Pool, Maryland; and

            (ii)    real property on which an improvement is made to an existing structure that is located in a historic district.

        (2)    A property tax credit granted under paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection shall be:

            (i)    the following percentage of the increase that is due to the improvement:

                1.    100% of the increase in the assessment of the real property in the 1st and 2nd taxable years that the improved structure is subject to the county property tax;

                2.    80% of the increase in the assessment of the real property in the 3rd taxable year that the improved structure is subject to the county property tax;

                3.    60% of the increase in the assessment of the real property in the 4th taxable year that the improved structure is subject to the county property tax;

                4.    40% of the increase in the assessment of the real property in the 5th taxable year that the improved structure is subject to the county property tax; and

            (ii)    ended after the 5th taxable year that the improved structure is subject to county property tax.

    (c)    The governing body of Washington County may grant, by law, a property tax credit under this section against the county property tax imposed on:

        (1)    personal property that is owned by Mid–East Milk Lab Services, Incorporated; and

        (2)    real property that is subject to the county’s agricultural land preservation program.

    (d)    (1)    In this subsection, “qualifying business” means an industrial or commercial business that is or will be doing business in Washington County, employing five or more full–time employees on a regular basis, and that is initially building or making substantial improvements or otherwise undertaking new construction work.

        (2)    Notwithstanding § 9–301(b) of this subtitle and subject to paragraph (4) of this subsection, the governing body of Washington County may grant to a qualifying business a property tax credit against all or part of the county property tax levied on real or personal property of the qualifying business for a period not exceeding 5 years.

        (3)    A property tax credit granted under this subsection may phase in the payment of county property taxes over the period of the credit.

        (4)    The governing body of Washington County may grant a property tax credit under this subsection only at a public meeting. The decision of the governing body shall be included in its minutes.

    (e)    (1)    The governing body of Washington County may grant a property tax credit against the county property tax imposed on renovated or rehabilitated business real property located in a priority funding area as designated in Title 5, Subtitle 7B of the State Finance and Procurement Article.

        (2)    Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the governing body of the county may provide, by law, for:

            (i)    the amount of the credit;

            (ii)    the duration of the credit; and

            (iii)    any other provision necessary to administer the credit.

        (3)    A tax credit under this subsection may not exceed the amount of additional property tax assessed as a result of the renovation or rehabilitation.

        (4)    A tax credit under this subsection is available to a qualified property for no more than 5 years.

    (f)    (1)    (i)    In this subsection the following words have the meanings indicated.

            (ii)    “Affiliate” means a person:

                1.    that directly or indirectly owns at least 80% of a business entity; or

                2.    at least 80% of which is owned, directly or indirectly, by a business entity.

            (iii)    “Business entity” means a person conducting a trade or business in the State that is subject to the State individual or corporate income tax or insurance premiums tax.

            (iv)    “Full–time position” means a position requiring at least 840 hours of an individual’s time during at least 24 weeks in a 6–month period.

            (v)    “New or expanded premises” means commercial or industrial real property, including a building or part of a building that has not been previously occupied, where a business entity or its affiliates locate to conduct business.

            (vi)    1.    “New permanent full–time position” means a position that is:

                A.    a full–time position of indefinite duration;

                B.    located in Washington County;

                C.    newly created, as a result of the establishment or expansion of a business facility in the county; and

                D.    filled.

                2.    “New permanent full–time position” does not include a position that is:

                A.    created when an employment function is shifted from an existing business facility of the business entity or its affiliates located in Washington County to another business facility of the same entity or its affiliates, if the position does not represent a net new job in the county;

                B.    created through a change in ownership of a trade or business;

                C.    created through a consolidation, merger, or restructuring of a business entity or its affiliates, if the position does not represent a net new job in the county;

                D.    created when an employment function is contractually shifted from an existing business entity or its affiliates located in the county to another business entity or its affiliates, if the position does not represent a net new job in the county; or

                E.    filled for a period of less than 12 months.

        (2)    The governing body of Washington County may grant, by law, a property tax credit against the county property tax imposed on real property owned or leased by a business entity that meets the requirements specified for the property tax credit under this subsection.

        (3)    To qualify for a property tax credit under this subsection, before a business entity meets the requirements specified for the property tax credit under paragraph (4) of this subsection, the business entity shall provide written notification to the governing body of Washington County stating:

            (i)    that the business entity intends to claim the property tax credit; and

            (ii)    when the business entity expects to meet the requirements specified for the property tax credit under paragraph (4) of this subsection.

        (4)    To qualify for a property tax credit under this subsection:

            (i)    an existing business entity in the county shall:

                1.    obtain at least an additional 1,500 square feet of new or expanded premises by purchasing newly constructed premises, constructing new premises, causing new premises to be constructed, or leasing previously unoccupied premises; and

                2.    employ at least one individual in a new permanent full–time position during a 12–month period, during which period the business entity also must obtain and occupy the new or expanded premises;

            (ii)    a new business entity locating in the county shall:

                1.    obtain at least 2,500 square feet of new or expanded premises by purchasing newly constructed premises, constructing new premises, causing new premises to be constructed, or leasing previously unoccupied premises; and

                2.    employ at least five individuals in new permanent full–time positions during a 24–month period, during which period the business entity also must obtain and occupy the new or expanded premises; or

            (iii)    a new business entity locating in the county or an existing business entity in the county shall:

                1.    invest at least $10,000,000 in capital improvements in the county by purchasing newly constructed premises, constructing new premises, causing new premises to be constructed, or leasing previously unoccupied premises; and

                2.    as a result of the capital improvements specified in item 1 of this item, create 100 new permanent full–time positions.

        (5)    (i)    If an existing business entity in the county meets the requirements of paragraph (4)(i) of this subsection, the property tax credit granted under this subsection shall equal a percentage of the amount of property tax imposed on the assessment of the new or expanded premises, as follows:

                1.    52% in the first and second taxable years;

                2.    39% in the third and fourth taxable years; and

                3.    26% in the fifth and sixth taxable years.

            (ii)    If a new business entity locating in the county meets the requirements of paragraph (4)(ii) of this subsection, the property tax credit granted under this subsection shall equal a percentage of the amount of property tax imposed on the assessment of the new or expanded premises, as follows:

                1.    30% in the first and second taxable years;

                2.    20% in the third and fourth taxable years; and

                3.    10% in the fifth and sixth taxable years.

            (iii)    If a new or existing business entity in the county meets the requirements of paragraph (4)(iii) of this subsection, the property tax credit granted under this subsection shall equal a percentage of the amount of county property tax imposed on the assessment of the new or expanded premises, as follows:

                1.    100% for each of the first 5 taxable years;

                2.    75% in taxable years 6 through 10;

                3.    50% in taxable years 11 through 15; and

                4.    0% in taxable year 16 and each taxable year thereafter.

        (6)    The lessor of real property granted a property tax credit under this subsection shall reduce the amount of taxes for which a business entity is contractually liable under the lease agreement by the amount of any credit granted under this subsection for improvements made by the business entity.

        (7)    The governing body of Washington County shall provide, by law, for:

            (i)    the specific requirements for eligibility for a property tax credit authorized under this subsection;

            (ii)    any additional limitations on eligibility for the credit; and

            (iii)    any other provision appropriate to implement the credit.

    (g)    (1)    (i)    In this subsection the following words have the meanings indicated.

            (ii)    1.    “Disabled veteran” means an individual who:

                A.    is honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active military, naval, or air service as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101; and

                B.    has been declared by the Veterans’ Administration to have a permanent service–connected disability that results from blindness or other disabling cause that:

                I.    is reasonably certain to continue for the life of the veteran; and

                II.    was not caused or incurred by misconduct of the veteran.

                2.    “Disabled veteran” includes an individual who qualifies posthumously for a service–connected disability.

            (iii)    “Dwelling house”:

                1.    means real property that is:

                A.    the legal residence of a disabled veteran or a surviving spouse; and

                B.    occupied by not more than two families; and

                2.    includes the lot or curtilage and structures necessary to use the real property as a residence.

            (iv)    “Surviving spouse” means an individual who has not remarried and who is the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran.

        (2)    The governing body of Washington County may grant, by law, a property tax credit under this subsection against the county property tax imposed on a dwelling house if:

            (i)    the dwelling house is owned by:

                1.    a disabled veteran; or

                2.    a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, if:

                A.    the dwelling house was owned by the disabled veteran at the time of the disabled veteran’s death; and

                B.    the surviving spouse meets the requirements of paragraph (4) of this subsection; and

            (ii)    the application requirements of paragraph (5) of this subsection are met.

        (3)    The property tax credit granted under this subsection shall equal a percentage of the amount of property tax imposed on the dwelling house that is equal to the percentage of the disabled veteran’s service–connected disability rating.

        (4)    After a disabled veteran dies, the surviving spouse of the disabled veteran may receive a disabled veteran’s property tax credit for the dwelling house that was formerly owned by the disabled veteran if:

            (i)    the dwelling house received a property tax credit under this subsection; and

            (ii)    the surviving spouse owns and resides in the dwelling house.

        (5)    (i)    A disabled veteran or a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran shall apply for the property tax credit under this subsection by providing to the county:

                1.    a copy of the disabled veteran’s discharge certificate from active military, naval, or air service; and

                2.    on the form provided by the county, a certification of the disabled veteran’s disability from the Veterans’ Administration.

            (ii)    The disabled veteran’s certificate of disability may not be inspected by individuals other than:

                1.    the disabled veteran; or

                2.    appropriate employees of the county.

        (6)    The governing body of Washington County may provide, by law, for:

            (i)    the duration of the tax credit;

            (ii)    regulations and procedures for the application and uniform processing of requests for the tax credit; and

            (iii)    any other provision necessary to carry out the tax credit under this subsection.