The anticipated 2018 deficit of the NY MTA, $262 million, exceeds the total annual operations of most transit agencies. So when value capture is highlighted as a means of revenue generation for the $13.5B agency, it is rightly recognized as relatively small potatoes compared to the overall need. This was highlighted in a recent MTA Reinvention Commission document reported on by NYC Streetsblog. In the words of the folks at Streetsblog:
The report emphasizes the need to keep the Payroll Mobility Tax in place, and suggests revenue enhancements like requiring all-cash real estate transactions to pay a version of the mortgage recording tax, increasing the use of value capture throughout the region, and squeezing more revenue from advertising, which is already on the rise.
Given our current transit spending levels, politics, and institutions, value capture is bound to be a small part of the funding pie in any jurisdiction. Value capture's virtues are twofold, both as a gap filling funding source and as an incentive for high-quality transit planning and service provision.
Ian Carlton is a transportation and land use expert specializing in transit-oriented development (TOD). He helps clients - including transit agencies, planning departments, and landowners - optimize real estate development around transit.
Special thanks to Burt Gregory at Mithun for permission to use the Portland Streetcar image above.