Broad-Based Transportation Funding Solutions

The timely provision of safe, convenient and efficient transportation infrastructure enhances the quality of communities, supports property values, and mitigates the effects of traffic congestion that accompany growth. DAAR supports improving mobility in communities so that all citizens have access to transportation means best suited to their needs. DAAR is committed to advocating against relying on the real estate industry as the primary funding source to finance transportation projects.

DAAR supports adequate and sustained funding for a balanced multi-modal regional transportation system and urges local officials to locate and pursue funding for specific projects as an initial phase of providing transportation congestion relief.

DAAR Recommendations

Dedicated Broad Based Funding Methods

  • A dedicated, broad-based funding structure is the most equitable and effective method to finance transportation. DAAR recommends the funding structure include components from federal, state, and local governments. Reliance on real estate taxes, such as congestion relief or grantors tax, is ineffective as they are an unstable and unpredictable source of revenue. Home sales are cyclical and when a downturn in the housing market occurs, revenues from recordation taxes fall, creating added pressure for tax increases.

Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation

  • Promoting of the use of innovative financing, design-build, performance contracting, and other public-private partnership tools will help facilitate and expedite the development of an effective transportation network. Public-private partnerships involving the application of tolls must include safeguards to ensure fair and reasonable costs to the public, as well as staggered toll rates.

Transportation Trust Fund Protection

  • Restore public confidence with a protective constitutional amendment and/or other legislative measures to prevent diversion of transportation revenues. Taxes levied on transportation users should be deposited in a trust account for spending exclusively on transportation purposes.

Funding Formula Allocation

  • DAAR urges the Virginia General Assembly to recognize the need for additional statewide and regional transportation funding and adjust the state funding formula to allocate more toward high-growth areas including Northern Virginia. DAAR encourages the Virginia General Assembly to begin a budget process where the money sent from Northern Virginia is sent back in the same proportional share for Northern Virginia.

Target expenditures to improve traffic flow through “bottleneck” intersections.

Construct a Northwestern Potomac River crossing in Loudoun County.

Complete the Tri-County Parkway linking the counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William.

Overview

One of the major issues facing Virginia is the growing mobility crisis throughout the population crescent stretching from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads. Without increased federal, state and local investment in all types of transportation infrastructure, Virginia runs the risk of economic stagnation, business flight and decreased tax base.

Transportation funding is also a major issue in Loudoun County. The long-term economic viability of the County requires a transportation system that moves people, goods and services in a safe and efficient manner. The current level of transportation investment in Loudoun County is well below what is required to meet the burgeoning local and regional transportation crisis.

Loudoun County continues to experience dramatic growth. The current population for 2018 was estimated to be at over 402,000 and the County is estimated to grow to 424,000 by the year 2020. For several years, Loudoun County has been recognized as the wealthiest and one of the fast-growing counties in America. Yet driving through the County is difficult or impossible because of the network of mismatched road configurations. Loudoun County continues struggling to ensure roads match population growth.

Background

On December 18, 2017, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe proposed that Northern Virginians pay higher taxes to provide a dedicated funding stream of $150 million per year to Metro. Included in his proposal was an increase of $.10 to the current Northern Virginia regional grantors’ tax (“congestion relief fee”). This would bring the regional tax to a total of $.25/$100. When added to the statewide tax on property owners, Northern Virginia homeowners would pay $.35/$100 in taxes.

In January 2018, Realtors® across Northern Virginia united to voice their concerns about the recent tax increase proposals to fund Metro. Along with DAAR, members of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® and the Realtor® Association of Prince William signed a joint statement regarding the Metro funding proposal.

In February 2018, DAAR members met with members of the General Assembly and Virginia officials to voice concern about the proposals to increase taxes on Northern Virginians. DAAR, along with other Realtors® across Northern Virginia, joined in the discussion as negotiators search for ways to provide $154 million in dedicated funding for Metro.

The legislation passed did not contain the $.10 increase in the “grantor’s” tax but did divert $45 million from existing “grantor’s” tax revenue. DAAR remains committed to advocating against relying on the real estate industry as the primary funding source to finance transportation projects.

2020 Focus

Advocate for adequate, sustained, and broad-based funding for a balanced multi-modal regional transportation system from federal, state, and local government.