Tax Increment Financing and Smart Growth

Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission and Maryland Department of Transportation

PES and Redevelopment Economics provided a primer to explain TIF mechanics to State legislators and examined state TIF best practices and creative applications from across the country.  Comparing these best practices to Maryland’s approach, the reference point was smart growth. How can TIF be strengthened as a mechanism to encourage transit-oriented development, brownfields-grayfields redevelopment, and historic preservation?  The recommendations covered:

  • fine-tuning TIF enabling legislation;
  • better targeting of TIF authority to revitalization areas;
  • alternatives to bond market financing;
  • State participation in transformative smart growth TIF projects;
  • revolving loan funds, guarantees, and other credit enhancements to supplement or strengthen desirable TIF projects; and
  • area TIFs and redevelopment plan implementation.

Some of the recommendations are under consideration for introduction in the Maryland General Assembly.  The team is now working to refine those recommendations for the 2012 session.