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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Residents argue against Metro tax

By Christy Goodman

Potomac Greens residents are continuing their fight against a special tax district to raise money for the Potomac Yard Metro station project in Alexandria.

"They are targeting us and it is ridiculous," said Roger Nisley, a Potomac Greens resident. "This is not about Metro. It is about the fairness of it."

City officials had proposed two special tax districts in the 295-acre Potomac Yard -- 10 cents or 20 cents per $100 of assessed value on a property tax bill -- that would supplement developer contributions and tax increment financing (TIF) to cover the cost of the $240 million Metro station and its debt service, totaling an estimated $496.6 million.

The TIF would dedicate a percentage of the tax revenues generated from the new developments directly toward building the Metro station.

Potomac Greens residents are currently part of the plans for the 10-cent tax district that would begin when the proposed Metro station opens in 2016. The district would raise an estimated $750,000 a year. Of that, the 227 townhouses in Potomac Greens are estimated to generate more than $180,000, said Mark Jinks, Alexandria's deputy city manager.

Residents suggested redrawing the district boundaries to include only new developments on the west side of the railroad tracks. That would increase the proposed 10-cent special tax district rate to about 13.2 cents, Jinks said. Others suggested a city-wide tax increase of 0.2 cents, Jinks said.

These and other revenue-generating options will be presented at a Dec. 18 city council meeting.

By Christy Goodman  | December 2, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia, Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

And in today's Wapo, there's another item about Virginia's transportation funding shortfall.

All of this is because Virginians don't want to pay taxes and keep electing politicians who promise not to raise taxes. Why are they then surprised when they end up with an insufficient road and transit nework that is falling apart?

Posted by: ceefer66 | December 2, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And in today's Wapo, there's another item about Virginia's transportation funding shortfall.

All of this is because Virginians don't want to pay taxes and keep electing politicians who promise not to raise taxes. Why are they then surprised when they end up with an insufficient road and transit network that is falling apart?

Posted by: ceefer66 | December 2, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, Virginians also don't want anything built, fixed, or connected. It might change traffic patterns and threaten their rural way of life.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

And what you goofballs obviously don't understand is that we Virginians feel like we already pay more than enough taxes to cover whatever roads we might need. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that former Dimocrap governor Kane was holding back several hundred million in trasnportation funds, for God only knows what (probably some vote-buying giveaway program for illegal immigrants). McDonnell recently released these funds for their intended purpose..roads..without raising taxes a penny.

Posted by: flintston | December 2, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

For four years, Kane kept trying to tell me we needed "special" taxes to build roads and I kept responding the same way: hogwash! Part of the income taxes I pay to Richomond is for a core government function: building roads. If you feel like you don't have enough money to build roads, then cut the budget somewhere else. Live within your means. Don't always think you can just come back to me for fresh funding.

Posted by: flintston | December 2, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

What a shock: People in Virginia who want to benefit from development, but don't want to pay for it, all while blaming the government. Everyone in Potomac Greens would obviously benefit from the availability of the Metro station and the resulting development and increased property values, yet none of them think they should pay a penny towards building or operating it.

Posted by: turnageb | December 2, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Two points. 1, we actually need to stop building most roads, except to interconnect those we have in busy areas. That's the biggest source of the problem. 2, Potomac Greens was established with this potential tax hanging over it years ago. People just never thought it would happen. I'd gladly pay an extra $0.10 per $100 for Metro less than 10 minutes away. Maybe they shouldn't be taxed, but no access should be granted to them without walking all the way around to entrances in the new construction area. How would that sit?

Posted by: GoHoos2002 | December 3, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

flinston is only partially right. We pay enough taxes alright, but to the federal government, not the state government which is left to care for aging infrastructure and an insufficient transportation network. Maybe if we spent half as much on our infrastructure in this country as we did on our military, we wouldn't waste away our lives stuck in traffic.

Posted by: rocotten | December 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

It's guaranteed that their property values will go up, which will also have the effect of evermore increasing their assessed value and the subsequent tax. However, they're getting a lot of benefit from it, including a higher resale price and/or more equity against which to borrow. If they don't want to pay the tax, they should move. Simple.

Posted by: recyclist | December 3, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

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