County amends new White Flint taxes
Impact taxes set to zero, as planned
Montgomery County will likely set impact taxes a fee for any new construction to pay for road upgrades around it in White Flint at zero, waiving an estimated $72 million in revenue once included in the plan to turn the area into a economic engine for the county.
The bill was created to support the White Flint financing plan of County Executive Isiah Leggett (D). The more than $1 billion initiative aims to pool funding from the county, developers and taxpayers in White Flint who will be levied a second property tax starting this summer to build roads, sidewalks, libraries and other public services. The expansion of those services will be needed to handle the kind of growth called for in the area's sector plan, which will effectively double the population and amount of commercial space in the area over the next 40 years, said Michael Faden, senior legislative attorney, in a staff memo dated Monday.
The Office of Management and Budget estimates that the 9,800 new residences and more than 6 million square feet of offices and shops called for in the sector plan will reap roughly $6.8 billion in revenue for the county over 40 years.
On Monday, the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, headed by County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, unanimously recommended approving a bill to waive the impact taxes in the same area as the new tax expected to be set in July to make Leggett's plan more equitable for developers.
The council agreed to introduce this bill when it approved the financing plan in December, Faden wrote.
The bill waives impact taxes for any development for which an application for a building permit was filed by Dec. 1. The budget office estimates the revenue from such taxes would have totaled $72 million over 40 years.
The fees were set retroactively to accommodate LCOR Inc., the developer of the White Flint Metro Station Property and the home of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Rockville Pike. The company requested the change in a Jan. 18 letter to the council in hopes of waiving the taxes for the NRC building expansion, said Stephen Elmendorf, an attorney for LCOR.
THE STORY SO FAR
The White Flint area is bounded by Rockville Pike and Montrose and Randolph roads in North Bethesda. Under the master plan, which was approved by the County Council in March and is a blueprint for the area for the next 40 years, 9,800 new residences and more than 6 million square feet of commercial space would be added to an area populated by 18,720 people and with 5.69 million square feet of commercial space. The new growth could bring as much as $6.8 billion to Montgomery County, councilmembers said.