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Nonprofit Organizations: Reduce Your Charge

 

To be calculated as a part of the 501(c)(3) charge structure, a property must be owned by a IRS designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Other types of nonprofits, such as recreational clubs or certain religious institutions, are not registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization, and therefore, would be charged based on the type of property.  There are charge reduction programs available for residential property owners as well as multi-family and non-residential property owners too.

 

Receive a Stormwater Management Credit

 

Apply for a Hardship Reduction

 

Appeals & Adjoining Properties Reduction

 

Stormwater Management Credit

A reduction of up to 60% of the charge will be awarded based on the volume of water treated by a combination of environmental site design and other stormwater management systems; or 80% reduction based on the volume of water treated, if the property is completely treated by environmental site design practices alone.

Stormwater management practices are landscaping techniques or structures that help reduce stormwater runoff. They help prevent stream damage, flooding and erosion. Some practices even beautify your property!


The credit is provided to property owners who own and maintain on-site stormwater management practices (see a list of practices), and is based on the volume of water captured. The goal of the credit program is to provide incentives to property owners for helping to treat and control stormwater runoff.


Questions? Call 3-1-1 or submit a service request

 

What is Eligible for a Credit?

There are currently more than 10,000 stormwater management practices in the County. You may have one!  Types of practices eligible for a credit include:

  • Rain gardens

  • Permeable pavement

  • Stormwater Ponds

  • Conservation landscaping

  • Green roofs

  • Grass Swale

 

 


Can't Access the Online Form? Call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request

 

View our map to see if your property has stormwater management facilities:

(The map may take a few seconds to load)

 
 

 

Am I Eligible for a Credit?

Nonprofits who own and maintain stormwater management practices on their property are eligible to receive the credit (a credit is a reduction off your annual WQPC).  Check the map above to see if you have a stormwater management facility on your property.

Remember:
  • The stormwater management practices must be maintained by the property owner and in accordance with the maintenance requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • Approved credits are valid for three years.

  • Credit Application Deadline: Due by September 30th in order to be applied towards your current tax bill.  Remember: Applications are good for three years!

     

Image of a rain garden. Maintaining a rain garden is a great way to earn a WQPC credit

 

How Much Would My Credit Be?

The amount of the credit is based on the type of stormwater management and the volume of water treated.


A reduction of up to 60% of the charge will be awarded based on the volume of water treated by a combination of environmental site design and other stormwater management systems; or 80% reduction based on the volume of water treated, if the property is completely treated by environmental site design practices alone.

  • Additional credit can be achieved by treating offsite impervious.   

  • The same property owner with multiple property parcels within the same drainage area may apply to receive treatment credit for all properties in the drainage area.

  • Deadline: The credit application is due by September 30th in order to be applied towards your current tax bill.

  • Apply for the credit using the online application

  • Having trouble? Not sure what this all means? Call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request

 

What Do I Need to Fill Out a Credit Application?

Account Information (all information is required)

  • Account ID as it appears on the property tax bill (8 digit number)

  • ​Check if this is a “new” or a “renewal” application.

  • Important: County regulations require property owners to renew the WQPC credit every three (3) years. 

  • Owner Name as it appears on your property tax bill.

  • Property Address, City, State, and Zip Code of the physical location of the property with an on-site Stormwater Management System.

  • Mailing Address, City, State, and Zip Code if different than site address. This is needed to send correspondence regarding credit application.

  • Telephone Number to contact property owner regarding credit application and coordination of site visit.

  • E-mail address to provide to contact property owner regarding credit application (include renewal reminder) and coordination of site visit.


Applicant can directly input the design volume into the Credit Calculator (the Credit Application) if design plans or other design data are available. If no design data are available for the stormwater management system’s treatment volume, the Credit Calculator will automatically calculate an Assumed Treatment Volume based on the practice’s design era and contributing drainage area. For more information, call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request .

Engineer certified plans to include are:

  • Total Impervious Area (square). This includes buildings, parking lots, walkways, driveways, sheds. Section 19-21 of the County Code defines Impervious Area as “[a]ny surface that prevents or significantly impedes the infiltration of water into the underlying soil, including any structure, building, patio, sidewalk, compacted gravel, pavement, asphalt, concrete, stone, brick, tile, swimming pool, or artificial turf.”

  • Year of Installation (required for determining Facility Credit Percentage).

  • Facility Size and Units (required by DEP to evaluate facility and treatment of impervious area). For example, rain garden size may be listed as number of square feet.

  • Impervious Area Treated by Stormwater Management System (required for calculating the credit). Include photograph of Stormwater Management System (required by DEP to evaluate practices and treatment of impervious area).

 

Interested in how we calculated your charge? See how we did it!

 


Can't Access the Online Form? Call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request

 


Hardship Reduction

Entities that are 501(c)(3) and exempted from property taxes are eligible for a partial exemption for the amount of the Water Quality Protection Charge that exceeds 0.2% of the property’s total revenues.

From the law:

The request submitted by a non-profit organization must be accompanied by the organization’s most recent federal tax return or other verification of total revenues derived from the property for which the exemption is sought, as required by the Director of Finance.

To qualify for a partial exemption:

(i) the amount of the Charge must exceed 0.2% of the organization’s total revenues from the property for which the exemption is sought for the year before payment of the Charge is due; and
(ii) the property for which the exemption is sought must be exempt from real property ad valorem taxation under State law. The amount of the partial exemption is the amount of the Charge that exceeds 0.2 percent of the non-profit’s total revenues derived from the property.


Deadline:  The 501(c)(3) hardship reduction application must be submitted by  September 30th annually.

 


Can't Access the Online Form? Call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request

 

Appeals and Contiguous Single Owner Properties


Nonprofits with Adjoining Properties 

Property owners can appeal to combine adjoining single-owner property accounts into one for the purposes of calculating your Water Quality Protection Charge. This would reduce your overall Charge.

Adjoining properties (also called contiguous properties) are those where at least some part of their property lines touch. 

If the property spans multiple tax accounts, you can appeal to have the separate accounts combined into one for the purposes of calculating the WQPC.

Deadline: Combining adjoining (contiguous) single-owner properties is a part of the appeals form.  The appeal must be submitted no later than September 30 of the year that payment of the charge is due.

 


Can't Access the Online Form? Call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request

 

Appeal Your WQPC Charge 

If a property owner believes that the Water Quality Protection Charge has been assigned or calculated incorrectly, the property owner may petition the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection for an adjustment by submitting a written request, using the appeal form.

Deadline:  The appeal must be submitted no later than September 30 of the year that payment of the charge is due.

 


Can't Access the Online Form? Call 3-1-1 or  submit a service request

 


Filing an Appeal

When appealing, the property owner must provide:

  1. A detailed statement of the basis for the petition, and
  2. Documents supporting the assertion that the property should be assigned a different classification; or that the impervious area measurements used to calculate the equivalent residential units for the property are incorrect; or that the property is not subject the WQPC under the applicable law.


Within 60 days after receiving the petition, the Director will review the WQPC assigned to the property and make a written determination of whether the property owner's request for an adjustment of the charge should be granted or denied.

 

 Appealing Your Charge: Frequently Asked Questions

I Believe my WQPC was Calculated Incorrectly. How Do I Appeal the Charge?

If a property owner believes that the Water Quality Protection Charge (WQPC) has been assigned or calculated incorrectly, the property owner may petition the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection for an adjustment by submitting a written request using the online appeals form.

 

When is the Deadline for Filing an Appeal to the WQPC?

Appeals must be submitted no later than September 30 of the year that the payment of the charge is due.

 

I Own Multiple Properties. Can I Combine the Properties Together for the Purposing of Calculating the WQPC?

Yes. Property owners can apply for combining contiguous (no separation such as a road between properties) single-owner property accounts into one. Petition the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection for an adjustment by submitting a written request, using the online appeals form.

If the property spans multiple tax accounts, you can appeal to have the separate accounts combined into one for the purposes of calculating the WQPC. If you would like to submit an appeal, please fill out the appeals form.

 

How Does the County Calculate My Property’s Impervious Surface Area?

Impervious surface data was gathered from imagery through geographic information systems (GIS) available from Montgomery County and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. To view the aerial image of your property that was used to determine your Charge, go to the View Your Bill page.

 

What Counts as Impervious Surface Area?

Impervious areas are any surfaces which don’t allow rainwater or melting snow to be absorbed into the ground. The impervious surfaces of your property used to calculate the WQPC include:

Included in the WQPC:
  • Building area 
  • Patio area 
  • Attached or detached garage building area 
  • Walkways 
  • Driveways 
  • Basketball/tennis courts 
  • Private parking lots 
  • Other paved areas, such as concrete or asphalt 

Not Included in the WQPC:

  • Pools (Patios and paved areas around the pool are included) 
  • Wooden decks 
  • Front porches 
  • Public sidewalks 
  • Agricultural business buildings such as barns or silos 
  • Agricultural driveways or walkways 

 

 

Why is My Gravel Driveway Counted as Impervious?

The Department follows the definitions included in the Stormwater Design Manual published by the Maryland Department of the Environment when determining what constitutes an impervious surface. According to the Design Manual, brick surfaces are impervious and gravel surfaces used by vehicles or heavy machinery are also impervious.

View the page of the Stormwater Design Manual on driveway and road imperviousness.  (PDF, 36KB)

The Manual relies on studies showing that gravel and dirt areas used for vehicle access or parking have diminished moisture holding capacity and display drainage characteristics similar to asphalt or concrete. Compaction of the gravel, and the soil underneath it, significantly reduces its permeability compared to natural permeable surfaces. Therefore, even though the gravel would seem to be pervious, it actually becomes impervious. 

 

Is My Pool Included as an Impervious Surface?

Montgomery County does not include the area of the pool containing water in the WQPC calculations. Only the paved area around the pool, such as the patio, would be included in the WQPC.

 

I Have Permeable Pavement for My Driveway but that Area was Still Included in My WQPC. Why?

Stormwater treatment devices such as permeable pavement and risers are included as part of impervious surfaces because they were developed land. However, property owners can use them to apply for credit (or reduction) off the WQPC.

 

My Block Doesn’t Have Storm Drains. Why Should I Pay the WQPC?

Water does not need to flow through storm drains to become stormwater pollution. Rainwater can pick up trash, pollutants and oils while flowing over driveways and other paved surfaces and then flow directly into streams. Furthermore, development and paved surfaces prevents water from being naturally absorbed into the ground, creating large amounts of runoff that flow quickly into our streams causing erosion and flood conditions. Stormwater is a major problem in urban and suburban parts of the County and can be also seen in rural areas too.

 

I Own Multiple Properties. Can I Combine the Properties Together for the Purposing of Calculating the WQPC?

Yes. Property owners can apply for combining contiguous (no separation such as a road between properties) single-owner property accounts into one. Petition the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection for an adjustment by submitting a written request as an appeal.

If the property spans multiple tax accounts, you can appeal to have the separate accounts combined into one for the purposes of calculating the WQPC. If you would like to submit an appeal, please fill out the appeal application. 

 

 

 
 
 
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