One of the pieces of legislation to come out of the 2018 General Assembly Session was voted out in the final minutes. Unless it is amended by the governor is a hard hit to Loudoun County.
The Metro funding bill passed, completely disrupts the road improvement funding process in Northern Virginia by siphoning off a huge portion of road monies controlled by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and redirecting it to The Washington DC Metro system.
Defunding important projects means going without desperately-needed improvements or funding these roads with local dollars which might otherwise be spent on education, mental health services, or public safety to name a few.
I spoke up on the floor of the House reminding that passage would, in addition to directly reducing road funding, would also hurt the NVTA bond rating, compounding the negative effect.
Regretfully, my plea to fellow Loudoun Delegates to oppose the measure was ignored. The final vote was my one vote opposing and all other Loudoun Delegates supporting the measure. Senator Richard Black was the only Loudoun NO vote on the Senate side.
Loudoun County signed on to participate in the Metro in 2012 expecting to have flexibility in deciding how to meet its funding obligations and expecting to pay a fair share; this General Assembly imposed funding method largely ignores all of this.
I can only hope Governor Northam will intervene and takes steps to assure that badly-needed and long-overdue road projects across the county and Northern Virginia will not be shuffled to the back burner leaving drivers stuck in traffic.
If the governor fails to correct this mistake I will encourage the Board of Supervisors to revisit the decision made in 2012 and consider opting out of the Washington DC Metro system to avoid inevitable massive Loudoun County tax increases that will follow.
Funding the Metro should be achieved through assessments on special tax district around stations as with the capital construction costs for the Silverline. This is similar to the method also successfully used to transform Route 28 from a two lane road into the modern highway it is now.