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Stormwater Remediation Fee

Baltimore County is mandated by state law to implement a fee to pay for new stormwater management regulations. The fee is identified as a separate item on your 2013 real property tax bill.

What is Stormwater Remediation?

Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces—such as parking lots, roads and roofs—causes a range of environmental problems including pollution of the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways, more frequent flooding, increased erosion and contamination of drinking water.

To mitigate these effects, the federal government and the state of Maryland have enacted a series of new stormwater remediation mandates. Maryland House Bill 987 (PDF), passed in 2012, requires the largest jurisdictions in Maryland, including Baltimore County, to assess fees to fund these mandates.

Baltimore County established the Stormwater Remediation Fee to help offset the cost of stormwater management services provided to those who live and work in the County.

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Residential Property

Fees

Baltimore County residents pay a flat-rate stormwater fee that is determined by dwelling type. These fees are among the lowest in the state.

  • Single-family home, detached: $39 per year
  • Townhome or duplex: $21 per year
  • Condominium: $32 per year

Residential Financial Hardship Exemption

A hardship exemption is available for owner-occupied dwellings in Baltimore County that meet certain criteria. To qualify, you must already receive at least one of the following tax credits:

  • Baltimore County supplement to the Maryland State Homeowners Tax Credit (§9-104 of the Tax-Property article of the Annotated Code of Maryland)
  • the tax credit exemption for a disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran (§7-208 of the Tax-Property article of the Annotated Code of Maryland)
  • the property tax credit for surviving spouses of fallen law enforcement officers or rescue workers (§11-2-109 of the Baltimore County Code, 2003)
  • the property tax credit for disabled law enforcement officers or rescue workers (§11-2-109.1 of the Baltimore County Code, 2003)

Complete and submit the Application for Hardship Exemption (PDF). For more information, call Taxpayer Services at 410-887-2403.

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Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Property

The Stormwater Remediation Fee for industrial, commercial and institutional properties—including churches, hospitals and private schools—is based on the amount of a property’s impervious surface, or surface that doesn’t let precipitation into the ground.

Fees

Fees are assessed based on total square footage of impervious surface at the following rates:

  • Industrial and commercial property: $69 per 2,000 square feet
  • Institutional property, including non-profit organizations: $20 per 2,000 square feet

Credits and Fee Reductions

An industrial, commercial or institutional property’s fee may be reduced upon installation of County-approved stormwater best-management practices (BMPs) to reduce the property’s pollutant load. This credit is based on the amount of impervious surface that drains to the BMP and its efficiency at removing pollutants.

If your property includes County-approved stormwater management facilities, the appropriate credits have already been applied to your fee. If you believe you are entitled to additional credit, contact the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability with supporting documentation, such as design plans prepared by a qualified professional.

Nonprofit Credit Program

Nonprofit properties may qualify for a program in which the County will fund and manage the removal of specified impervious surface on the property, such as paving and concrete. The property must have at least 10,000 square feet of impervious surface available for removal. Building removal is not eligible.

Any alternations to the property must be in compliance with appropriate zoning regulations. For example, different properties are required to maintain a designated amount of parking spaces per Baltimore County Zoning Code (Article 4, Special Regulations).

To apply, the organization must:

  • Be a Baltimore County faith-based, nonprofit or charitable organization
  • Be assessed a Stormwater Remediation Fee under the institutional category designation
  • Have a minimum of 10,000 square feet of impervious surface to be removed and converted to green space
  • Meet the criteria and submit the Nonprofit Organization Grant Fund Application (PDF) by March 1, 2014

Applications can be mailed to EPS at 111 W. Chesapeake Ave., Room 319, Towson, Maryland, 21204, or emailed to stormwaterfee@baltimorecountymd.gov.

A credit will be applied to the Stormwater Remediation Fee for the selected properties.

Find Your Impervious Surface Area

The measure of impervious surface and applicable credit areas is based on the most recent data available in Baltimore County’s database. To see your property’s impervious surface measurement and applied credits, simply enter your parcel number (also known as your tax account number) in the box below.

Please note: This search tool is for commercial, industrial and institutional properties only.

Enter your 10-digit parcel/tax account number.

Note on Gravel Surfaces

Gravel surfaces are considered impervious when used in a way that compacts the gravel over time, such as:

  • a storage area for equipment and materials
  • a driveway or road
  • a parking lot for vehicles, boats or trailers

However, if the gravel surface meets specific criteria, it may qualify as a BMP and be credited accordingly. The surface must be at least eight inches thick with a layer of geotextile fabric separating the gravel from the ground, covered by at least six inches of number two stone, then at least two inches of number six or seven stone.

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Agricultural Property

Agricultural land has its own requirements and is not impacted by the stormwater remediation fee. However, any farm parcel that includes a residence will be assessed the flat rate for a single-family, detached home of $39.

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How the Fee is Used

Report Outlines $33 Million in Planned Projects

Baltimore County: 200 Miles of Waterfront (PDF) outlines how Baltimore County is allocating funds raised by the Stormwater Remediation Fee. The report summarizes projects including tree planting and reforestation, storm drain retrofits, stream restoration, street sweeping, stormwater treatment practices and other improvements to impervious surfaces.

Stormwater Remediation Practices

State and county laws require that stormwater fees go to a dedicated Stormwater Remediation Fund used to meet the requirements of managing and treating stormwater discharge. Examples of these practices include:

  • street sweeping
  • storm drain cleaning
  • stormwater facility inspection, maintenance and upgrades
  • shoreline stabilization
  • urban canopy tree planting
  • reforestation
  • monitoring, planning and programming

The fee covers both the additional operating expense and capital expense necessary to meet mandates. The fees collected and the fund’s annual expenditures are required to be reported each year.

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Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns that aren’t answered above, email stormwaterfee@baltimorecountymd.gov.

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Revised January 30, 2014

Stormwater Management Fee Detail