According to the Loudoun Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Phyllis Randall, she has seen the “real and honest numbers” of the coming costs of Metro and Loudoun can’t afford it. Although Chairman Randall and Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) have seen the figures they refuse to say what the astronomical amount to support the subway will be.
As of September 2016 the projected Metro costs for Loudoun were $11 million per year. Now it appears operating costs will be more than twice that amount for Loudoun. Chairman Randall said “The numbers are startling, and they are concerning.”
Neither Randall or Bouna would even speculate on the figures estimated by county staff. Buona said it was premature to announce the costs because the figures are ‘fluid’.
Where will Loudoun get the money to pay for the Metro Silver Line and the ongoing costs? From the Loudoun Times-Mirror:
To pay for Metro’s annual operating expenses the county will pull from several sources: the Metrorail service tax district, otherwise known as the Silver Line small area; local gas tax revenues; and, if revenues are not sufficient to cover costs, from the general fund or “another funding source.”
So, for the 98% of taxpayers in Loudoun who will NEVER ride the metro, we have to subsidize the subway with an increase in our gas taxes. That’s quite a penalty for the 98% of us who drive cars and trucks. Since the money has to also come “from the general fund or another funding source”, that sounds like even more taxes on all of us. Of course when the metro comes, and all the dense housing around it, we will have to pay more in taxes because the county will need more schools, more First Responders, and more roads. Sounds like taxes upon taxes to pay for this metro albatross that 5 Republican Supervisors foisted on us.
One new Supervisor, Ron Meyer (R-Broadlands) has been quite outspoken about his concerns for Metro in Loudoun. More from the Loudoun Times-Mirror:
First-term Supervisor Ron Meyer (R), the current Broad Run supervisor, thinks the previous board negotiated a “bad deal” in bringing Silver Line into the county.
Meyer, who has voiced general support for Metro’s extension into Loudoun, worries it will be difficult for the county to afford the “burgeoning costs” of Metro “without doing something more than what we have in place.”
“My goal would be not to raise taxes on anyone period, but obviously it might not be achievable because of this deal that was signed onto before I joined the board,” Meyer said. “And so we’re going to have to use the smartest means possible to do that.” (Emphasis mine)
Board Chairman Phyllis Randall thinks there needs to be a ‘dedicated funding source’ for metro coming from Richmond or the federal government. Good luck with that. Why would either of them bail out the richest county in the nation? They won’t.
Congressman Comstock is working hard on the problems with metro,“increasing costs, poor service, and safety record are unsustainable.” She has not said there will be a dedicated funding source coming from the feds.
More on the story here.