The Water Quality Protection Charge is calculated based on how much of your property is impervious (does not allow rain to be absorbed into the ground). Properties with small buildings and little development pay less than properties with a lot of developed land.
The WQPC varies based on the type of property you own. To view how the Charge for your property was calculated, go to the section that applies to the type of property owner you are.
Do you own:
Read the full Water Quality Protection Charge Regulation in Section 19-35 of the Code of Montgomery County Regulations.
How Was the Amount of Impervious Surface on My Property Determined?
Impervious surface data was gathered from imagery through geographic information systems (GIS) available from Montgomery County and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Impervious surface area is calculated by totaling the square footage of any surface area that doesnít allow for rain water to be absorbed.
The impervious surface area for your property is the total of:
- Roof area
- Patio area
- Attached or Detached garage roof area
Driveway surface area
Basketball/tennis courts surface area
Private parking lots surface area
Other paved areas, such as concrete or asphalt
Not included in the total:
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- Pools (Patios and paved areas around the pool are included)
- Wooden decks
- Front porches
- Public sidewalks
- Agricultural business buildings such as barns or silos.
- Agricultural driveways
How is the 2013-2014 Tax Year Different From Past Years?
A state law passed in 2012 now requires all large counties in Maryland, like Montgomery County, to apply the
charge to all property owners. To make the law as equitable as possible, the WQPC will be calculated based on how
much impervious space is on your property. For many homeowners, the WQPC will be less than last year.
The new law establishes a Credit Program which can reduce the WQPC fee for property owners who build and maintain
stormwater management practices. Residential properties can reduce their charge by up to 50% and multi-family and
non-residential properties can reduce their charge by up to 60%.
Learn more about the Credit Program:
Homeowners and 501(c)3 non-profits with financial limitations can apply to have their WQPC fee reduced. Apply for a hardship exemption.
Impervious Area Increase Phase-In
Although most residential property owners may pay a lower charge in 2013, some property owners and businesses may see an increase in the fee. The WQPC is higher for those properties
because a larger amount of impervious area is being charged under the new system.
To provide relief, a three year phase-in has been adopted for properties that saw an increase in the amount of impervious area charged to them.
If your WQPC impervious area increased from tax levy year 2012 to levy year 2013, the increase will be phased-in over the next three years. Your 2013-2014 tax bill will reflect 1/3 of the increase.
||% of WQPC Increase Reflected on|
the Property Tax Bill
View the Impervious Area Phase In webpage for more information.
The Water Quality Protection Charge is a line item on annual Montgomery County property tax bills.
Interest on the overdue payment accrues according to the same schedule and at the same rate charged for delinquent real property taxes until the owner has remitted the outstanding payment and interest. An unpaid WQPC is subject to all penalties and remedies that apply to unpaid real property taxes. If the unpaid charge becomes a lien against the property, the lien has the same priority as a lien imposed for nonpayment of real property taxes.
What is the Basis for the WQPC?
Before calculating how much each property owner was charged, the County first determined how much impervious surface was on a typical property in Montgomery County. This number is called the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).
Property owners are charged based on how much impervious area they have compared to the ERU.
Each tax year, the County determines the Rate of an ERU. For tax year 2013-2014, the rate per ERU is $88.40.
1 ERU = 2,406 square feet = $88.40
To see how the ERU and the Rate is used to determine your charge, go to the section that applies to the type of property owner you are.
Do you own:
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