Public Hearing Set for Metro Tax Districts

Revenue from proposal would fund construction, operation, maintenance of Silver Line in Loudoun.

Moving forward with the hope of creating a , the Loudoun Board of Supervisors has set an Oct. 17 public hearing for residents to weigh in on the proposal.

The tax district plan actually calls for three districts: one overall district to pay for construction, operation and maintenance, and two smaller districts, which will remain in place after construction is completed to pay for ongoing operation and maintenance expenses. The prososed maximum tax rate for the distrcit is 20¢ per $100 of assessed value.

For the most part, existing residential homes are not part of the district, but future homes close to rail stations planned at Routes 606 and 772 will be taxed.

Loudoun County is on the hook for at least $270 million in Metro construction costs, plus ongoing operations and maintenance estimated at $18 million per year. In addition, Loudoun is expected to find a way to construct three parking garages, estimated to cost up to $150 million.

This week, supervisors indicated parcels have been added to the district since it was first proposed, and more parcels may still be added. One supervisor said he plans to request the removal of some parcels.

“We did tweak the tax district somewhat from what was proposed,” Supervisor Matt Letourneau (D-Dulles) said, adding some of those parcels are in his district. “Basically, what we tried to do was clean up some of those areas that weren’t logical to be excluded.”

Supervisors must re-advertise the public hearing or plan another one if parcels are added.

Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) inquired about what the process would be if he "wanted to take out a parcel or an area … for example, I want to exempt Glenn Drive,” he said. “Those people don’t want to be in the district.”

County Attorney John R. “Jack” Roberts said he believed parcels could be removed without re-advertising, but wanted to research the issue a bit more because it involves a targeted tax.

Supervisors who wanted to add or remove properties did not have the parcel ID numbers, so any changes will come at a later date, but are expected by the board’s next regular meeting Sept. 18.

Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) said he hopes the board can move forward respectfully.

“I hope that we don’t try to play politics here,” he said. “We really need to get these districts in place so we can begin collecting revenue.”

The PDF included at the top of this story shows maps of the districts as well as a list of all parcels now considered for the district — excluding the additions mentioned above.

For more information about the Metro project, go to the county’s Metro web page. Additional information can be found on the project’s website. Readers may also find more information by reading past stories about the project on Patch.

Concerned_Citizen9 September 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
My kids have to bring in their own boxes of tissue paper to school with them (two boxes for each kid) because the schools can't afford tissue paper, and our BOS decided to spend $420 MILLION on a few train stops that will prove completely useless (compared to the costs, and the alternative of simply driving to Reston or the airport to get on the metro). They've already screwed Loudoun residents horribly, but that ship has sailed... Two thing are for sure: 1) This rail will cost way more than the quoted price, and so will maintenance costs. 2) The property value of those living within ~2 miles (or whatever the determined number is) of the rail stops will shoot up tremendously. As such, it is only fair that those living within that distance pay much larger property taxes, no exceptions. The vote to accept the Silver Line burden was based upon this district taxation. Although it is customary these days for governments (e.g. US government) to do what is necessary to ease the pain to their constituents (i.e. do what is necessary to keep them in office), often by simply putting things on their credit card (like bloated social programs, wars, etc.), we can not do that here. A very extreme decision was made in building this metro, an associated extreme decision was made to PAY for it. Do what you said you were going to do, no parcel removals, no exceptions!
Time to get out of Ashburn September 06, 2012 at 01:40 PM
The premise that as a homeowner near metro that I will benefit in some disproportionate way more so than someone 2.5 miles away is rediculous. The metro provides no value to me as it will not help with my commute at all, in fact, it will cist me significantly more in toll road charges to get to work. In the event there is a home value benefit, I will already be paying that in the form of an increased assessment and therefore an increase tax, in whatever form. The concept that local residents should pay a 20% higher rate, in addition to the increased assessment is rediculous. Will my house be worth 30% more the day after metro comes in???? That would approximate my increase in taxes. I agree that this was not a well thought out idea from the beginning, and have voiced my concerns. Making me, and other residents, pay a disproportionate amount of taxes for some businesses ability to attract customers/employees is wrong and unamerican. Feel free to post a "Fair Share" comment and then let's discuss where we can meet to have further discussions. Have had enough!
Concerned_Citizen9 September 06, 2012 at 02:14 PM
...Yes, but everyone wanted that "shiny new train". You have to remember that an increase of say 30% on home value (e.g. $500,000) equals an increase of $150,000 for the owner (tax free at that). Where as a property tax increase of 30% on a tax of $6000 is equal to $1800 (and you get to write that money off). So yes, those enjoying the property value increase stand to reap huge rewards, even though they will be paying much higher taxes. The rest of us though who have to take the toll road, and who will never use the metro, and will gain no increase in property value, will be faced with higher taxes (just wait and see), and insane toll road fees. ...They are already insane, I need a more descriptive word...
Time to get out of Ashburn September 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Statistics show that the appreciation in home value is closer to 10% (there is also an enjoyable marked increase in the crime rate near a metro station), not 30%. A $700,000 home, now presumably worth $770,000 with the metro in place (years from now) enjoys an increase in taxes from $8,600 to $11,100 (add $70k to the assessment and increase the rate from $1.235 to $1.435), starting 1/1/13. This is the 30%. And all of this is before the additional cost incurred through the HOA to install gates to stop thru traffic, add security costs. In addition, the thousands of additional high density housing will add enourmously to the scholls, allowing our kids to get moved to yet another different school. Plenty of homes for sale...come buy one.
Dusty Smith (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Is your home in the tax district? With a couple dozen exceptions, only new homes built near the rail station will be in the tax district, the rest is residential. So you would get a tax increase based on the increase in value, but not from an increased rate (with the exceptions noted).
CC Mojo September 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I'd love to see those statistics, actually. Dusty, thanks for the explanation - there's a lot of bad information out there that is dragging down this process, but its the same information that was released before the July vote. Concerned Citizen - my kids have been bringing oddball supplies to class since 2003. Inconvenient, yes. But, its certainly not part of Metro or the proposed tax plan. That's just how schools are and none of those supplies on your list were a direct result of Metro, considering the school supply lists are available at the end of each school year (May).
Concerned_Citizen9 January 10, 2013 at 01:07 PM
"Concerned Citizen - my kids have been bringing oddball supplies to class since 2003. Inconvenient, yes. But, its certainly not part of Metro or the proposed tax plan. That's just how schools are and none of those supplies on your list were a direct result of Metro, considering the school supply lists are available at the end of each school year (May)" CC, my point was only that this project is one that should never have been started - here in Loudoun County I mean. The Loudoun BOS, by their own admission, does not know how much this project will cost (it will absolutely cost more than their estimate), how much future expenses will be (maintenance, etc.), nor how they will raise the money to pay for it. I was being a bit sarcastic by pointing out that the county can not afford basic schools supplies (when I am paying ~$9000/yr in county taxes), but they think they can afford ~$500 Million in train stations. It was a foolish decision by foolish board members that will haunt us (in the form of increased taxes and tolls) for the foreseeable future, and I was just reiterating that opinion.


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