The Virginia General Assembly may soon consider a scheme that could cause a significant property tax increase for residents and businesses of Northern Virginia. This tax increase may come under the guise of transportation funding reform called “devolution.” Simply put, devolution shifts the cost of certain state responsibilities for transportation from the state to local governments. Although we are of different political parties, we are firmly united in opposition to devolution because of the massive property tax increase it will produce for the residents and businesses of Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties.
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After years of neglect, Virginia’s transportation construction and maintenance funds are nearly depleted. Our roads, particularly in Northern Virginia, are in deplorable shape. By the Virginia Department of Transportation’s own admission, 34 percent of secondary roads in Virginia are in substandard condition. This problem — long in the making by the General Assembly — must be addressed by the General Assembly. Local governments and taxpayers should not be expected to shoulder what is now a responsibility of the commonwealth. . . .