St. Mary’s County this week announced a new program to stimulate and incentivize investment in commercial real property by providing tax relief to commercial property owners.
The “Property Tax Challenge” program aims to spur renovations and upgrades to commercial properties in targeted areas by allowing owners to pay taxes based on the property’s pre-renovation value rather than the higher assessment triggered by the upgrades.
Under the program, commercial property owners in targeted areas who invest at least 10% (minimum of $25,000) of a property’s assessed value will be exempt from any increase in the tax rate, assessed valuation, or a combination of the two during the incentive period.
According to a County press release:
On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved this program. The Commissioners hope to encourage revitalization and investments in the commercial areas of the county. The Lexington Park Development District is a targeted area for revitalization in the county; however, projects located in Charlotte Hall Town Center and the Town of Leonardtown’s Downtown area will also be considered.
Many commercial property owners would like to improve their properties by building renovation, painting, façade improvements, streetscape improvements such as landscaping and signage. This new program will provide some tax relief.
The St. Mary’s Department of Economic Development is currently accepting applications.