Building Diversified Communities
Best practice: Special Taxing District
North Bethesda Market in White Flint is two blocks from Metro’s Red Line.
The White Flint Partnership, an alliance of property owners along MD355/Rockville Pike in Montgomery County, agreed to be part of a special taxing district to fund improvements to the Pike and related streetscape. The group, comprised of large landowners who are redeveloping aging strip malls as well as the landmark White Flint Mall, wants to improve access to the Metro and a planned bus rapid transit line in the corridor. The goal: to transform a car-centric, unattractive streetscape into a desirable environment for existing and future residents.
With the partnership’s support, the Montgomery County Council approved a special taxing district in 2011 that levies an ad valorem property tax to fund transportation infrastructure improvements. The tax, which applies to all property owners within the White Flint Sector Plan area except existing residential uses, requires a 10 cents per $100 of assessed value, totaling $7 billion over 40 years. The dedicated revenue source for the county will fund improvements to Rockville Pike, as well as smaller projects on secondary roads, to provide a network grid to improve local access and enhance pedestrian safety.
The partnership, which worked closely with Montgomery County in developing the White Flint Sector plan, executed an ambitious outreach strategy to garner public support for the plan. The partnership conducted public meetings and reached out to residents via a website and social media, garnering an unprecedented level of support for the plan and TOD at a Montgomery County Council public hearing.
TOD Best Practices: Building Diversified Communities