To the Loudoun County Board Members,
Well done to board Vice Chairman Janet Clarke, on her analysis and summary letter.
Pushing Silver line just far enough into Loudoun to be able to tax us was a bad deal for Loudoun from the beginning. Surely it's clear that it's a worse deal now. We have every right to decline to participate after the original plan was discredited.
Anyone who thinks that two-mile Loudoun tax district will see property value increases like those of, for example, Tyson's Corner is in the wrong line of work. Loudoun clearly can't absorb the tax load that, for example, the huge business base in Tyson's Corner can.
Tysons and Reston developers will be the major beneficiaries of the Silver line. I'm very comfortable with them taking on the cost of the extension to Dulles.
The proposed bill to Loudoun to support metro construction is nowhere near a reasonable cost for value received and will likely damage the Loudoun economy. Two miles of track past the airport ... for $1.5 billion? That doesn't sound like a deal anyone should put a dime into. But the annual levies that Metro and MWAA will impose on Loudoun will be a burden forever.
What is Loudoun's recourse if we feel that the annual bills become too high, or represent an unfair share? To answer, just look at our lack of recourse to fight the unbelievable escalation of tolls for the Dulles Access Road ... and we already *paid* to build that road. We certainly can't vote them out of office.
Once they have taxing authority (imposing annual levies, raising rates on Dulles Access Road, etc.) without the accountability of an having to face an election, Metro Board/MWAA will be impossible to oppose by checks and balances.
Keep unaccountable Metro/MWAA governance outside of Loudoun.
We don't need to speculate. Metro Board/MWAA has proven that they are:
- willing to burden residents with enormous taxes (by their plan for Dulles Access Road),
- not competent to run the project (by the cost overruns and the current state the of metro operation),
- non-responsive to citizens (Despite a major uproar, it took Federal intervention to reverse their bad decision on the Airport Metro station.)
To test Loudoun's ability to influence Metro/MWAA governance forums, send them a proposal to set aside the current plan for Dulles Access Tolls, and settle for a mere 100 percent increase over the toll at the time they took over the (fully paid off) road (i.e. raise to $1.50, with MWAA taking $.75). In addition, Loudoun should be able to veto any toll increases in the future. An accountable tax authority would probably update their resumes before implementing a 100 percent increase. Consider what the MWAA's response to that proposal would be as you consider our future under their control.
There are tough decisions on your agenda every LC Board of Supervisors meeting, folks, but if you are thinking about the best interests of Loudoun citizens (present and future) this should really be a no brainer. We're all counting on you.
Long time Sterling resident