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Text of the National High Performance Passenger Rail Transportation-Oriented Development Act of 2012

This bill was introduced on April 16, 2012, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 16, 2012 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4361

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 16, 2012

(for himself and Mr. Lipinski) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To promote transportation-oriented development and encourage dedicated revenue sources for urban and regional rail corridor development.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the National High Performance Passenger Rail Transportation-Oriented Development Act of 2012.

2.

Transportation-oriented development initiative

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary of Transportation (in this Act referred to as the Secretary) shall establish an initiative to promote passenger rail operations and transportation-oriented development by creating incentives for communities to encourage dedicated revenue sources for urban and regional rail corridor development.

(b)

Implementation

The Secretary shall appoint a Planning Developer to oversee implementation of this initiative. The Planning Developer shall report to the Secretary.

(c)

Coordinating Committee

The Secretary shall harmonize planning requirements and direct coordination and administration of the initiative between the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. The Secretary shall appoint a Transportation-Oriented Development Coordinating Committee composed of the Planning Developer as Chair, the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration.

3.

Federal incentives

(a)

Qualified projects

(1)

Criteria

The Secretary shall establish criteria for the designation of projects qualified for Federal incentives pursuant to this section and the amendments made by this section.

(2)

Types of projects that may qualify

Projects that may qualify for Federal incentives pursuant to this section and the amendments made by this section are those that contribute to the generation of revenue by the capture of increasing value from development around station areas, as defined by the Secretary, which are likely to make long-term contributions to rail corridor development funds or similar mechanisms that help finance intercity and urban passenger rail infrastructure or operating expenses. Such commercial development or other projects designated as qualified by the Secretary may generate revenue for transportation-oriented development and rail operations in the region by increasing the tax base, promoting job growth, promoting cost effectiveness, facilitating intermodal connectivity, combining congestion relief with station development, stimulating economic development, or any other appropriate means. The capture of increased value shall be through the establishment of special assessment districts or similar mechanisms, and distribution of revenues shall be through rail corridor development funds or similar mechanisms established within the regions.

(3)

Designated coordinating authority

The Secretary shall designate a State authority, or regional commission in appropriate regions of the country as defined by the Secretary, that petitions the Secretary to participate in the initiative established under section 2. Such designated entity shall provide for coordination among stakeholders, local governments, and private developers in the defined region, and shall endorse each project of, and be the lead party in, an application for Federal incentives pursuant to this section and the amendments made by this section.

(b)

Railroad rehabilitation improvement financing

Section 502 of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 822) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (5);

(B)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (6) and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(7)

persons conducting a qualified project (as defined in section 8 of the National High Performance Passenger Rail Transportation-Oriented Development Act of 2012).

; and

(2)

in subsection (b)(1)—

(A)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (B);

(B)

by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (C) and inserting ; or; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)

conduct a qualified project (as defined by the Secretary under section 3 of the National High Performance Passenger Rail Transportation-Oriented Development Act of 2012.

.

(c)

Transportation infrastructure finance

Section 601(a)(8) of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (C);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (D) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(E)

a qualified project (as defined by the Secretary under section 3 of the National High Performance Passenger Rail Transportation-Oriented Development Act of 2012).

.

(d)

Application Priority

In general, Federal applications to the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration for railroad projects that participate in the transportation-oriented development program under this Act shall receive a priority for funding in the application decision process.

(e)

Administrative Costs

For administrative costs to carry out this Act, including contracting with and support for the Planning Developer and transportation-oriented development initial administrative costs of the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration for the first 5 years, the Secretary may use such funds as necessary which are appropriated for carrying out chapter 6 of title 23, United States Code.

(f)

Revenue neutral program cost

The Secretary may establish a mechanism whereby amounts used under subsection (e) will be repaid to the Secretary for use in carrying out chapter 6 of title 23, United States Code. Repayment shall be derived from a small fee to all recipients of funding provided under subsection (e). The repayment shall commence upon substantial completion of qualified projects.

4.

Technical assistance

(a)

National technical assistance

The program established under this Act shall provide technical assistance to the States with respect to—

(1)

identification of transportation-oriented development opportunities;

(2)

establishment of special assessment districts in regions;

(3)

establishment of rail corridor development funds; and

(4)

expediting Federal, State, and local regulatory approvals.

(b)

States and regions outside the northeast corridor

The Secretary, through the initiative established by this Act, shall provide technical assistance to the States and regions outside the Northeast Corridor as identified by the Secretary, and shall provide—

(1)

technical assistance on the establishment of Regional Advisory Committees appropriate to carrying out the purposes of this Act at the regional level; and

(2)

technical assistance at the request of a State or qualified entity provided by the Planning Developer that will identify stations and potential stations within a given region, and conduct a preliminary survey of property available and potentially available, to maximize development and commercial revenue generation to financially support the development of a high performance rail passenger corridor.

(c)

Northeast corridor

The Secretary, through the initiative established under this Act, shall provide technical assistance to the States and entities along the Northeast Corridor as identified by the Secretary—

(1)

on the establishment, by the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission established under section 24905 of title 49, United States Code, of a Northeast Corridor Transportation-Oriented Development Working Group, which shall—

(A)

include outside members with expertise in transportation-oriented development;

(B)

be chaired by the Planning Developer; and

(C)

advise the Secretary and the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission on the ways and means for carrying out the purposes of this Act at the regional level; and

(2)

technical assistance provided by the Planning Developer to the Secretary and identified States and entities, not more than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, that will identify Northeast Corridor stations and potential stations, and conduct a preliminary survey of property available and potentially available, to maximize development and commercial revenue generation to financially support the creation of a true high-speed rail corridor in the Northeast Corridor.