Howard County and the State of Maryland offer a variety of different programs to assist companies considering locating to or growing in Howard County. We know that no one company is alike, so the needs are not the same, either. The Howard County Economic Development Authority has assembled the best team to help you grow your business. The following are programs to consider, but we are here to help you explore the options that are best for your growing company.

Fast Track Process

The County will work with the company to coordinate deadline schedules when approving site development plans for qualified projects that provide an economic benefit to the County. The Howard County Economic Development Authority works closely with the Department of Planning and Zoning to identify projects for the expedited process.

Tax Exempt Financing – Industrial Revenue Bonds

Tax exempt bonds can be issued by Howard County for manufacturing companies and non-profit organizations with the normal project range from $1 million to $10 million. Approved use of the funds includes land, new buildings, new machinery and equipment, some soft costs, and working capital up to 25% of the total. A significantly discounted interest rate may be floating or fixed, with the normal term of 15 to 20 years on real estate and 7 to 10 years on equipment. Interest rates vary depending on the lender, but are usually below the existing prime rate at the time of closing.

The Authority will process the application on the company’s behalf and work with the County’s bond counsel to introduce the appropriate legislation to the County Council.

Property Tax Credits

A property tax credit may be granted on real property owned by expanding or relocating companies that plan to employ at least 12 additional full-time employees and make a substantial investment. A substantial investment is defined as:

  • The acquisition of building, land, or equipment totaling at least $2 million or the creation of 10 positions with salaries greater than the current Howard County annual average.
  • The credit may be phased in over a specific number of years for qualified commercial and industrial firms. Property tax credits can be extended to a company that owns the building it occupies or to the owner of a new building, provided the credit is passed through to the qualified tenant.

The following commercial or industrial categories-targeted in the Howard County Economic Development Strategic Plan-are eligible for a Property Tax Credit:

  • National, Divisional, or Regional Headquarters
  • Informatics
  • Technology-Driven Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences and Medical Technology
  • Federal Government Contractors

The credit is based on the assessed value of a newly constructed building not currently on the tax books and applies only to the space occupied by the company.

Economic Development Incentives Fund

Howard County has created an Economic Development Incentive Fund which is funded by an issuer fee on tax exempt financing. Monies from this fund are used as a matching requirement to obtain state funding.