Land value return and recycling is a mechanism for generating revenue to pay for transportation system improvements by collecting fees or taxes on the increased value of land or economic activity served by those improvements. Local and regional transportation agencies have used such mechanisms, but for state departments of transportation (DOTs) the practice is relatively rare. Few states have legislation in place to enable use of land value return and recycling . The best-known examples of successful land value return and recycling (a subset of "value capture" tools) involve major real-estate developments in metropolitan areas, for example for transit stations or highway interchanges serving large commercial and employment centers. Such examples typically entail not only analyses of project economics and design of revenue instruments, but also forming of partnerships of private and public entities, and legislation and other provisions to enable creation and enforcement of the revenue-generating tools.
A body of literature has developed describing land value return and recycling and analyzing specific applications in transportation. A precursor to the current research produced NCHRP Synthesis 459: Using the Economic Value Created by Transportation to Fund Transportation (2014), describing mechanisms used by transportation agencies across the United States. NCHRP Project 19-13 was undertaken to extend the previous work, particularly looking beyond urban cores where many examples are found, to provide guidance on assessment and implementation to assist DOTs and others to determine when land value return and recycling may be effective and to apply appropriate land value return and recycling mechanisms in particular situations.