Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Thursday, May 12, 2016

FC Transportation backs off from proposed Reston-wide tax for road improvements.

We have received a copy of the following e-mail from Janet Nguyen, Fairfax County Department of Transportation:

From: Nguyen, Janet L <Janet.Nguyen@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Date: Tue, May 10, 2016 at 12:57 PM
Subject: Advisory Group - Funding Updates
To: Andy Sigle <awsigle@gmail.com>, Bill Keefe <wkeefe@ldn.thelandlawyers.com>, "Cate Fulkerson (RA)" <Cate@reston.org>, Delores Bailey <summatra@aol.com>, "John Mossgrove (jmossgrove@merrittproperties.com)" <jmossgrove@merrittproperties.com>, Liana Kang <liana.kang@yahoo.com>, Maggie Parker <mdparker@comstockpartnerslc.com>, "Mark Looney (RCC)" <mlooney@cooley.com>, "Matt Valentini (JBG)" <mvalentini@jbg.com>, "Robert Goudie (RTC)" <RGoudie@restontc.org>, Tim Cohn <tim@timcohn.com>
Cc: "Johnson, Carroll R" <Carroll.Johnson@fairfaxcounty.gov>, "Kanownik, Kenneth J." <Kenneth.Kanownik@fairfaxcounty.gov>, "Biesiadny, Tom" <Tom.Biesiadny@fairfaxcounty.gov>, "Davis, Jr, Paul L." <Paul.DavisJr@fairfaxcounty.gov>, "Calkins, Kristin" <Kristin.Calkins@fairfaxcounty.gov>


All,

Just wanted to give the group an update about work on the funding plan.  In the April meeting, staff discussed various scenarios for funding an example private share of the funding plan.   The scenarios included use of a road fund or a road fund in combination with a service or tax district:

Road Fund Only
  1. Use Tysons residential rates (Tysons-wide and Tysons grid combined but normalized for unit size) and determine Reston commercial rate to meet need.
  2. Use Tysons commercial rates (Tysons-wide and Tysons grid combined) and determine Reston residential rate to meet need.
  3. Determine set of rates that match proportion of total residential vs. total commercial development in Reston.
Road Fund with other revenue sources (Use Tysons combined rates (in option 1 and 2) and…
  1. Fills gap with a service district over Reston TSAs (all properties).
  2. Fills gap with a tax district over Reston TSAs (C&I Only).
  3. Fills gap with a service district over Reston and Reston TSAs.
  4. Fills gap with a service district over Special Tax District 5.
After further analysis, scenario 6 and scenario 7 have been removed from consideration.  This announcement will also be made at the Reston Network Analysis public meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday, May 18th.   Staff hopes to schedule the next advisory group meeting for funding in June.

Janet Nguyen
Coordination and Funding
Fairfax County Department of Transportation
T: 703.877.5770, TTY 711
As indicated by the sentences we have highlighted, FCDOT is dropping its proposal to RNAG to tax the entirety of Reston for road improvements and additions required by the planned intense development in the Transit Station Areas.  That said, FCDOT has NOT dropped the option to tax the residents of the TSAs (Options 4 & 5).

As we have stated before, we do not believe the residents of Reston--or any portion of Reston--should be forced to pay taxes that are used solely for the purpose of subsidizing developers profits, which is exactly the case here.  With forecast profits for Reston TSA developers over the next 40 years of more than $50 billion, the developers can easily absorbed the full $2.6 billion in road improvement costs (about 5% of their future profit) FCDOT anticipates will be needed.   Restonians, including TSA residents, gain nothing financially from the roadway improvements; in fact, FCDOT's explicit goal is to increase congestion on TSA roads to discourage driving!

Yes, the transportation tax TSA Restonians would be forced to pay under Option 4 & 5 to "improve" roads would be used to drive them out of their cars--not improve their driving experience. 

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