Currently, Northern Virginia taxpayers pay $65 million more in taxes than the rest of the state to help fund Metro, including an additional gas tax and 20% more in sales taxes. In Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal being presented today NOVA residents will pay an additional $85 million in new taxes. Those increases would mean NOVA would pay $150 million of the $500 million that the state provides annually to pay for Metro.
NOVA taxes would increase on gasoline, providing a floor, but not a ceiling. Taxes on hotels would rise from 2% to 3%, and the Grantor’s tax on real estate transfer fee would increase from 15 cents per $100 of assessed value to 25 cents.
Speaker-elect of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox has said he would not support an increase in taxes for Metro without major reforms on labor costs and safety.
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock has put forward a bill in Congress to increase federal funding for Metro from the current $150 million to $225 million, “in exchange for creating a temporary reform board, adopting tough measures to hold down labor costs and other changes”. Of course this bill is very popular in Northern Virginia. Better to have taxpayers in Arizona and North Dakota, and every other state, pay for this bottomless money pit that is Metro, than increase taxes in Virginia.