Queen Anne's County Enterprise Zone

The Enterprise Zone is a geographically designated area wherein investments in commercial development and redevelopment and job creation are eligible to receive tax credits.  The Queen Anne’s County’s Enterprise 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.

Enterprise Zone Commercial Real Property Tax Credit

A ten-year credit against local property taxes is available to companies that locate, expand, or substantially improve business properties in 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 real property owner in their Property Taxes.

Find more information about the real property tax credit and income tax credit, including frequently asked questions.

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 .   Eligible projects will receive a certification letter and notification will be provided to SDAT.
  •  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.

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 (PDF).  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 a Form 500CR and a copy of the Certification Letter. For more information, see:

To become certified to receive Enterprise Zone Tax Credits, contact the Department of Economic and Tourism Development at 410-60-2100 for an application.