Local Business Incentives

QAC Economic Development Incentive Fund (EDIF) Program: Is available to individuals/businesses interested in starting a new business, expanding an existing business, or relocating operations to Queen Anne’s County. Strong consideration is given to those businesses that fall within the following industry profiles: Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture and Seafood, Technology, and/or Hospitality/Tourism.

Projects must demonstrate significant economic impact – such as job creation and retention, increase in production, and/or potential for a niche market. They must also be consistent with the County’s development land use goals, and economic development priorities. The business must be physically located within the geographic boundaries of Queen Anne’s County, although residency is not required of the business owner(s).

Applicants must provide a demonstrated need for the funding.  Request for funding through this program are reviewed at the sole discretion of the Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Incentive Fund Commission, with disbursement authorization by the County Commissioners, as program funding is available.

Economic Development Incentive Fund Program Application

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QAC Revolving Loan Fund (RLF): New and expanding businesses located in the county are eligible to apply for low interest loans. The fund provides access to capital for business development, start-up, strategic expansion and for vineyard establishment.  Requests for funding through this program are reviewed at the sole discretion of the Economic Development Commission, with disbursement authorization by the County Commissioners, as program funding is available.

Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $100,000 and can be used for real estate acquisition and/or improvements, equipment, and working capital associated with the project. Funds can be used to leverage conventional loans or loans from intermediary lenders such as Maryland Capital Enterprises, The VOLT Fund, and Maryland Agricultural Resource Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO).

For additional information on program availability please call 410-604-2100

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QAC Commercial Real Property Tax Credit:  The county offers eligible businesses, located outside of the QAC Enterprise Zone a property tax credit. To be eligible the property investment needs to be $25,000 or more in real property improvements, and a minimum of  12 new full time jobs are created within two years as a result of the project.  The credit is prorated over four years against the increased assessed value at 80% (Year 1), 60% (Year 2), 40% (Year 3) and 20% (Year 4). Tax credit is awarded at the discretion of the County Commissioners.

Commercial Real Property Tax Application

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Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE): Queen Anne’s County adopted the PACE program to allow businesses to access up front financing for energy efficient improvements on commercial properties. Payments are made as a surcharge on the tax bill, and transfer with property ownership.

For more information, click here.

PACE Fact Sheet

Business Zones

Queen Anne’s County Enterprise Zone- A geographically designated area wherein investments in commercial development and redevelopment and job creation are eligible to receive tax credits.  This zone includes a majority of the Planned Growth Areas of Grasonville, Chester, and Stevensville, including the Chesapeake Bay Business Park, Matapeake Professional Park and the Thompson Creek area. Infrastructure exists to support new, infill and redevelopment of commercial property. Eligible commercial projects within the Enterprise Zone can be certified to receive a commercial real property tax credit prorated over 10 years. Eligible businesses operating within the Enterprise Zone can receive income tax credits for the creation of full-time jobs. The following uses are not eligible: fast food restaurants, convenience stores, stand-alone gas stations, adult entertainment and gambling facilities.

To see if a property is within the designated Enterprise Zone, visit the Incentive Zone Interactive Map

Enterprise Zone Application

Department of Commerce EZ information

 

Enterprise Zone Commercial Real Property Tax Credit-A ten (10) year credit against local property taxes is available to companies that locate, expand, or substantially improve business properties within the Enterprise Zone. The property tax credit is equal to 80% of the difference between the base value of the property (the assessment in the year prior to new construction, expansion, or substantial improvement) and the newly assessed value of the property after the investment is made. The property tax credit is 80% for five years. During the last five years, the property tax credit declines 10% annually; the credit is 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, and 30% respectively. This tax credit is administered to the property owner in their Property Taxes.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicant must plan to make a capital investment in its property (there is no minimum investment required);
  •  Applicant should be mindful of having a base assessment done before commencing work as the tax credit is applied to the increase in the assessed value;
  • Applicant should apply for the tax credit after receiving all required building permits and before or at the beginning of construction (see How to Apply below);
  • Only commercial properties may apply. In a mixed use development, only the portion assessed as commercial will receive the tax credit.   Any portion of the property devoted to residential use will not receive the credit;
  • In order to receive a property tax credit for the next taxable year (beginning on July 1 when the tax bill is issued), the local Zone Administrator, the Queen Anne’s Department of Economic Development, must certify to the MD Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)  the eligibility of a particular business by no later than the end of the preceding calendar year on December 31st.
  •  The granting of an Enterprise Zone property tax credit is affected by the timing of the completion of capital improvements, the assessment cycle, and how the improvements are assessed. (I.E. the improvement must change the value of the real property);
  • The law states that the credit shall be granted to the “owner” of a qualified property. In cases where a lessee makes the capital improvements, the lessees should make a contractual provision with the owner of the qualified property regarding receipt of the property tax credit.

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Enterprise Zone Income Tax Credit-There are two types of Enterprise Zone income tax credits. If the employee is not economically disadvantaged, you may qualify for a one-time credit of $1,000 per employee. If the employee is economically disadvantaged, as determined by the Maryland Jobs Service, you may take a credit up to $3,000 of the employee’s wages in the first year of employment. The credit is $2,000 in the second year and $1,000 in the third. DLLR must certified that the employee is economically disadvantaged. Please refer to the DLLR website link below for the criteria. A voucher must be submitted to DLLR within 28 to 30 days of hiring a disadvantaged worker. Download the DLLR Income Tax Credit Voucher (DOC).  This credit can be stacked with other job creation based credits including the Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC), More Jobs for Marylanders (MJM), etc.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • There is no minimum on the number of employees to meet the necessary qualifications.
  • Must have been hired after the date on which the Enterprise Zone was designated or the date on which the business relocated in the Enterprise Zone, whichever is later.
  • Must be filling a new position or replacing an employee who was previously certified as economically disadvantaged.
  • Must have been employed at least 35 hours a week for at least six months.
  • Must be paid at least 150% of the federal minimum wage throughout his or her employment by a business entity before or during the taxable year for which the entity claims a credit.
  • Must have spent at least half of his or her working hours in the Enterprise Zone or on activities directly resulting from the business location in the zone.
  • Must be a new employee or an employee rehired after being laid off by the business for more than one year.

Once/if a business has been certified, the credits can be claimed upon filing a Tax Return using Form 500CR and a copy of the Certification Letter

For more information visit:

MD Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Maryland Department of Commerce

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Foreign Trade Zone: Queen Anne’s County is within the service area of the Baltimore No. 74 Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).  Baltimore FTZ #74 was established in 1982 and has been continually expanded and modified due to various requests for additional space. Zone space, originally 60,000 square feet, currently includes more than 900 activated acres at multiple sites in the Baltimore-Towson MSA. In 2017 the Zone served 193 businesses employing 659 people. Over $11.3 billion worth of goods were transferred to U.S. Customs’ Territory and $397 million in merchandise was exported from the FTZ to international markets.

Learn more about the FTZ advantage

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Arts and Entertainment Tax Credits:  Qualifying businesses located in the Historic Stevensville A & E District can apply for and receive tax credits from amusement and admissions tax, and sales and use taxes.  A real property tax credit is available for renovations or new construction that creates space capable for use by qualifying residing artists.

Learn more about Historic Stevensville A & E District

Arts and Entertainment Tax Credits Application

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Job Creation Tax Credit: The State of Maryland, through the Department of Commerce, offers a Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) for companies within specific industries creating new jobs. The business facility must be certified as having created a minimum number qualified positions. Companies must declare intent prior to any job creation.

For more information about this and other employment based job credits, click here.

For a complete list of tax credits for businesses, including More Jobs for Marylanders, click here.

Opportunity Zone

Queen Anne’s County Opportunity Zone is Census Tract 24035810300 which is designated to receive private investments through opportunity funds. Opportunity funds are certified by the Treasury to aggregate and deploy capital for eligible users defined as Opportunity Zone Property.

DHCD / Maryland Opportunity Zones