New Development Tax Being Considered for Downtown Bethesda

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has begun discussing the potential for a new and significant tax on development in downtown Bethesda.

We are calling your attention to the County’s proposal, being referred to as the Bethesda Unified Mobility Program (BUMP), because of the potentially significant amount of the tax and our belief that it is unjustified.

Based on MCDOT’s evaluation of roads, bikeways, and transit service in and around Bethesda, they have identified a potential impact tax of nearly $15 per square foot of new development that the County would levy pursuant to the BUMP. This would be in addition to the existing development impact taxes for transportation and schools and any Park Improvement Payments that may be applicable to support bonus density in the Bethesda Overlay Zone. Furthermore, MCDOT has not disclosed any information at this time regarding when the requirements under the BUMP would become effective, or whether approved but unbuilt projects would be grandfathered.

Here are a few pages from a recent MCDOT presentation describing the BUMP proposal as it exists today for your review and consideration: You can find the complete presentation on the MCDOT website at

We have begun developing arguments in opposition to the proposal and are in the process of arranging meetings with various County officials to express our concerns. With your support, we would like to expand and amplify our arguments including developing more specific information on the potential impacts of this proposal on development in the Bethesda Downtown Plan area, as well as its contrasts with the ways in which other comparable jurisdictions review development.

If you are interested in working with us on this effort, please contact a Lerch Early land use attorney and we will provide more information.