Green Business Incentives
Montgomery County Government wants to help businesses to become sustainability leaders. The County also wants to spur green business innovation for the growing economic benefits associated with the green economy. County Government, along with local utilities and other government agencies offer a range of financial incentives to help businesses reduce their ecological footprint and contribute to the green economy.
Some incentives are VERY significant.
For example, PEPCO’s Small Business Program covers up to 90% of the costs of energy efficiency improvements. The County’s Green Building Property Tax Credit offers owners of Platinum LEED-NC or LEED-CS buildings 10,000 square feet or greater up to 75% off their property taxes for 5 years. And the County’s RainScapes Rewards Rebates Program offers rebates of up to $10,000 to commercial and institutional property owners that manage and filter stormwater runoff.
Many of these incentive programs not only reduce the upfront costs associated with environmental improvements, but provide ongoing savings through lower utility bills and reduced taxes and charges.
Moreover, you’ll quickly see how good intentions to help the environment translate into employee appreciation. Studies show that companies committed to sustainability reap significant human resource benefits including improved employee morale, greater ability to attract top talent, improved employee retention, increased employee loyalty and more.
New-to-the-Market Green Product and Services
Green Investor Incentive Program
The County recognizes entrepreneurs' limited access to funding as a barrier to growth. Green Investor Incentive Program provides cash incentives to investors supporting County-based businesses developing new-to-the market green products or services. The incentive could be as much as 50% of the investment made and as much as $50,000. Through this program, the County serves as curator for green companies that are well-prepared to seek and accept funds, and cultivator of more investors. Businesses must be certified through the County Green Business Certification Program or other third party green certification program (B Lab, Green America, etc.) to be eligible for the incentive.
County Green Building (LEED) Property Tax CreditsMontgomery County organizations which pay property taxes and achieve high levels of green achievement verified by either the U.S. Green Building Council (or an equivalent standard approved by the County’s Department of Permitting Services) are eligible for a property tax credit between 25% and 75% for 3 to 5 years depending on the LEED rating system (or equivalent) and level of achievement. Learn more about this program on Energy Incentives for Business webpage.
Pepco, BG&E and Potomac Edison, each offer incentives for commercial and industrial energy savings, including new construction, lighting, heating, HVAC, operations and trainings. Learn more about each of the Energy Incentives for Businesses.
Green Operations and Grounds
The RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program offers rebates to property owners who install RainScapes techniques such as rain gardens, dry wells, conservation landscaping and other approved projects that help control stormwater. This program is open to properties in Montgomery County outside the municipalities of Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park. The RainScapes Program is funded by the County's Water Quality Protection Charge.
Commercial, HOA, multi-family and institutional properties are eligible for up to $10,000 per parcel to install RainScapes.
Water Quality Protection Charge Credit
Stormwater management practices capture and treat rain water so that the water does not flow directly into storm drains or streams. They remove pollutants, protect public health and prevent flooding, stream damage and erosion.
The Water Quality Protection Charge Credit is provided to property owners who own and maintain onsite stormwater management practices, and is based on the volume of water captured. The goal of the credit program is to provide incentives to property owners for meeting stormwater standards which best mimic pre-developed conditions and controls and treats stormwater to the maximum extent practicable.
Property owners must apply for a Credit, and the credit will be good for three years. Non-residential properties and multi-family properties are eligible to receive up to 50-60% off their annual Water Quality Protection Charge, based on the type of stormwater management practice and the volume of water treated.
Free Desk-Side Recycling Bins
Businesses in Montgomery County that have service contracts, or plans in place for recycling collection, are eligible to receive Free Desk-Side Recycling Bins. The bins are 15 inches high and have a 28 quart capacity.
Maryland Commuter Choice Tax Credit
With the Maryland Commuter Choice Tax Credit employers can receive a tax credit of 50 percent of the amount they spend on employee commuting benefits - up to a maximum of $50 per month for each participating employee. Employers can take this credit against the State Income Tax, the Financial Institution Tax, or the Insurance premium Tax.
Transit Benefits/Pre-Tax Payroll Deduction
Research has shown that providing employer-paid transit benefits or allowing employees to receive their benefits as a pre-tax payroll deduction is most effective in persuading employees to switch to transit. A maximum of $125 per month ($1,500 per year) is allowable tax-free or pre-tax to employees as a transit benefit towards their use of Transit or Vanpools to commute to work. An employer can offer Transit Benefits as a salary increase, bonus, award, or other incentive. For more information, see the Internal Revenue Service’s Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.
Guaranteed Ride Home
If you use mass transit, carpool, vanpool, bicycle, or walk to work at least twice a week, you are eligible for the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which offers you a free ride home by taxi, rental car, bus, or train, up to four times a year when unexpected personal emergencies or unscheduled overtime arise. Register with Commuter Connections, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments via the link above or call 1-800-745-RIDE (7433).
Regional Ride-Sharing and ‘Pool Rewards Programs
The Regional Ride-Sharing program, through its online Commuter Bulletin Board, provides free assistance in forming a carpool or vanpool convenient to your home and office, including potential “poolmates.”
Pool Rewards is an incentive program available through Commuter Connections designed to encourage current drive alone commuters to start or join a vanpool or carpool.
Vanpooling is a popular and economical option for commuters traveling within the Washington Metropolitan region, particularly for long distance commuting. If you drive alone to work and get a minimum total of seven people together who wish to start or join a new vanpool, your vanpool may qualify for a $200 monthly subsidy. Vans are available to accommodate between 7 and 15 passengers.
Participation is also open to solo drivers who begin carpooling during peak rush hour periods in the Metropolitan area. Commuters who currently drive alone to work may be eligible for up to $2 a day when they agree to start or join a new carpool.
Free Bicycle Racks
Montgomery County Government encourages commuters to choose alternative modes of transportation to reduce air pollution and reduce traffic congestion. The County’s Department of Transportation offers the free distribution and installation of bicycle racks. Requests are considered on a first come first served basis. For more information, see Bike Rack Facts and contact the Montgomery County Division of Transportation Engineering, Department of Transportation at (240) 777-7231.
Smart Keys 4 Employees
This Smart Growth enhancement to Maryland’s House Keys 4 Employees Program provides eligible homebuyers receiving down payment and closing cost assistance from their employer with matching funds of up to $10,000 from State’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The home must be within 10 miles of the borrower’s place of employment or within the boundaries of the County and be located in a Priority Funding Area.