What is the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and what role does it plan in TOD?
MEDCO was created by the State statute and is both a corporation and an instrumentality of the State. Its mission includes promoting economic growth and development throughout the State as well as assisting other governmental entities in developing real estate. It has been granted a number of powers by statute, including the ability to issue both taxable and tax-exempt bonds to support the financing of projects. MEDCO can provide "conduit" financing for projects, meaning that it does not provide its own funding toward the bonds that it issues and instead sells the bonds into the private investor market.

MEDCO bonds can be structured to be repaid from various types of dedicated revenue sources, including parking fees, special taxing districts, project revenues and other sources. MEDCO can also issue TIF bonds, but only for a designated TOD project and in Baltimore City.

Finally, MEDCO bonds are non-recourse, meaning that they are not guaranteed by the State, local government or other governmental entity. Therefore, they do not pose direct financial risk to governments or jurisdictions. MEDCO has the potential to play an important role in TOD projects in Maryland. At the request of a State or local governmental entity, MEDCO will consider providing conduit financing for projects. It can also own project components where that makes sense. For example, MEDCO can finance and own a garage at a TOD and then lease it either to a public or private operator. It is worth noting that there are other public and private sources of bond or debt financing for TOD projects. For example, a range of local governments, State agencies, and authorities such as the Maryland Transportation Authority can issue certain types of bonds for particular projects and the private sector can provide private bond financing for projects as well. Therefore, MEDCO represents one financing option among several for any particular project.

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1. What does the term transit-oriented development mean?
2. Why is the State involved in transit-oriented development?
3. What does it mean to be a designated transit-oriented development (TOD) in Maryland?
4. Why designate some Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) projects and not others? Should all TODs be designated?
5. What are the benefits that designation brings to a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) project?
6. What is the process for designating a TOD pursuant to Section 7-101(m)?
7. Do the State and local government designate a project, a zone, a planning effort, or something else?
8. Have any projects been designated TODs yet?
9. Is there a limit to the number of TOD designations that can be made?
10. What new financial tools did the 2009 TOD legislation grant to local governments for use solely at designated TODs?
11. What is tax increment financing (TIF)?
12. What is a Special Taxing District?
13. What is the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and what role does it plan in TOD?
14. Are there dedicated funds in the State budget for TODs?
15. What are the characteristics of a good candidate for TOD Designation?
16. What types of transit stations make a TOD project eligible for designation?
17. Is there any new State legislation that might help support TOD projects?
18. How do Designated TODs relate to Smart Sites and other programs?
19. Whom do I contact to learn more about TOD and TOD Designations?