RISE Zones Pass, Counties Retain Oversight

In an effort to spur economic development and revitalization, the General Assembly passed a bill authorizing the creation of Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zones surrounding anchor educational institutions and nonprofit entities.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, the RISE Zone Program (HB 742/SB 600) as originally introduced allowed local governments to provide comment on the creation and boundaries of a zone, but offered no approval authority, although the bills mandated local governments to provide property tax credits within the RISE Zone. Working jointly with the Maryland Municipal League, MACo testified in support of the bills and drafted a series of amendments to address local government concerns by granting local governments approval authority over the creation of a RISE Zone and treating the program similar to the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program. MACo and MML worked with the Ways and Means Committee to incorporate the amendments and the House voted favorably on the amended bill. The Senate concurred with the amendments Saturday, April 5. The bill as passed by the General Assembly:

  • Requires a qualified institution to apply jointly with a local government for the designation of a RISE Zone
  • Limits the duration of the designation of the RISE Zone and the tax credit amount unless the local government approves a greater credit amount
  • Ensures that RISE Zones do not overlap with other areas designated by a local government where tax increment financing is used
  • Protects local governments comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and other land use policies

Final enrolled bills are not yet available but should be updated soon on the General Assembly website.

For more information read previous coverage on Conduit Street:

House: Locals Must Be Part of RISE Zone Approval

UMD President Promotes Programs to Keep Maryland’s Economy on Top