Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Bills to Help Clarksburg

I, along with Councilmember Craig Rice, introduced two bills that could lead to quicker and more orderly construction of needed public infrastructure in the emerging community of Clarksburg in northern Montgomery County.

We need to find innovative solutions and incentives to help Clarksburg become the community that the Master Plan envisioned two decades ago. The Clarksburg Infrastructure Working Group has looked at many possibilities to get development back on track. These two bills reflect ideas that could make this happen. We owe it to the current, and future, residents of Clarksburg to find answers for their community.

The bills seek to help resolve how infrastructure improvements will be funded in Clarksburg. The bills reflect recommendations of the Clarksburg Infrastructure Working Group that was formed to address these funding issues. Sufficient financing is not currently identified to build needed transportation improvements in the Clarksburg area. The bills seek to allow enhanced use of transportation impact tax credits, along with a special taxing district in parts of Clarksburg, to stimulate funding of needed transportation improvements. The introduction of the bills begins the legislative process toward possible enactment. Public hearings are tentatively scheduled for each bill at 1:30 p.m. on July 21.

Bill 21-11 would extend the time period that a developer can use impact tax credits from six to 20 years. The Working Group’s recommendations said that the current rule of six years unfairly penalizes larger developments that have an extended buildout period. The bill also would grant impact tax credits—for Clarksburg developments only—for capacity improvements to state roads. The current impact tax law allows credits for improvements only to County roads. The bill also would designate other types of roads that are currently not eligible—for Clarksburg only—for impact tax credits for roads currently not eligible.

Bill 21-12 would create a Clarksburg Area Special Taxing District, consisting of the Clarksburg Village and Arora Hill subdivisions. The special taxing district was recommended by the Working Group as an alternative to the private infrastructure charge that was attached to the deeds of the properties in these subdivisions. The bill would authorize the levy of a property tax to fund specified transportation infrastructure improvements and would authorize the issuance of a certain type of bond to finance certain transportation infrastructure improvements.

Bill 21-12 is based on Bill 50-10, enacted in November 2010, which created a similar special taxing district in the White Flint redevelopment area.

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