The 1997 Priority Funding Areas Act directs State funding for growth related infrastructure to Priority Funding Areas (PFAs), providing a geographic focus for State investment in growth. PFAs are existing communities and places where local governments want State funding for future growth. Growth-related projects include most State programs that encourage growth and development such as highways, sewer and water construction, economic development assistance, and State leases or construction of new office facilities. The Act legislatively designated certain areas as PFAs - municipalities (as they existed on January 1, 1997), Baltimore City, areas inside the Baltimore and Capital Beltways, Department of Housing and Community Development Designated Neighborhoods - and established criteria for locally designated PFAs. The criteria include permitted density, water and sewer availability, and designation as a growth area in the comprehensive plan.
The PFA Act is codified in §5-7B of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.