Benefits of Designation

Designated projects could benefit from several potential tools, depending on the needs of the particular project at the particular stage of development. Among the benefits are prioritization for funds and resources, financing assistance, tax credits, prioritization for the location of State offices and support from the State Highway Administration on access needs.

Prioritization


The designation represents a clear statement of support from the State and the local governments for the project. It means that the State and local governments will commit staff, resources and political will toward achievement of the development. The project is vetted and branded as a good example of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and sustainable development.

Funding/Resources


Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) may provide funding for predevelopment costs, including planning, environmental studies, appraisals, financial analysis, and legal support. MDOT land near the station for the development may also be made available. MDOT will also prioritize capital projects that support designated TODs, identified by local governments during MDOT's Annual Transportation Tour.

Financing


MDOT will partner with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), to support TOD projects. MEDCO works with MDOT to create advantageous ownership and financial structures for infrastructure projects, using non-recourse conduit financing. This provides opportunities for public financing without impacting local governments" direct debt capacity. Pursuant to legislation sponsored by the O'Malley Administration during the 2009 session, the designation also provides local governments with greater flexibility to use tax increment financing and special taxing districts together in a way that supports the construction, operations and maintenance of public infrastructure at the project.

State Office Sites


Designated TODs are given priority for the location of new State facilities in accordance with Executive Order January 1, 2009.12 signed by Governor O'Malley in September 2009. More specifically, when the State issues a request for proposals for office or laboratory space for State occupation, the scoring system used to rate and select proposals will include a weight in favor of any location within one-half mile of a transit station or even greater weight if the location is part of a designated TOD.

Access Issues


The State Highway Administration will partner with developers and local governments on pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access issues, utilizing urban and context-sensitive design.

Sustainable Communities Tax Credit


Under the recently passed Sustainable Communities Act of 2010, non-historic commercial projects within the designated TODs will be eligible to compete for tax credits for the rehabilitation of structures. If awarded, the credit will be 10% of the rehabilitation costs for non-historic structures.

Smart Growth Programs


A TOD designation will also prioritize a project for support and coordination from other State agencies. Projects will be reviewed by the Smart Growth Subcabinet, which includes the Maryland departments of:
  • Business and Economic Development (DBED)
  • Environment (MDE)
  • General Services (DGS)
  • Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
  • Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Planning (MDP)

Positioning Projects for Federal Support


Under the Obama Administration, new policies and funding programs are being developed to support sustainable development, recognizing the link between transportation, the environment and housing. A TOD designation demonstrates the alignment of projects with those goals, positioning projects to compete for federal assistance.