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Supervisors fret over transportation plan provision

There was a moment of panic among Loudoun's supervisors Wednesday night, after they were informed by county staff the new state transportation deal struck earlier in the day included a provision mandating counties to implement a 12.5 percent countywide commercial and industrial tax to raise money for roads.

The supervisors railed against the tax imposition, pointing out that, given other special tax districts in place in the county, Loudoun's tax rate in some districts would be vastly higher than nearby localities.

Several board members talked about the drag these high rates could have on the county's economic development efforts.

During a recess shortly after the transportation briefing, several supervisors pulled out their cell phones to lobby against the new legislation to Loudoun's delegates, whom are expected to vote on the legislation Thursday.

Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), following the recess, said a contact in Richmond told him Loudoun County could be exempted from the countywide commercial tax because the supervisors already have plans to designate two cents of property tax revenue toward transportation, thus fulfilling the requirement that locality's take its own steps to raise transportation funds.

Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) echoed Buona's comments, saying Del. Joe May (R-33rd) informed him the measure to exclude Loudoun would likely be in place.

Reid went on to praise Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell and the state transportation plan as a whole.

“This would be a phenomenal victory for Gov. McDonnell and [commuters],” Reid said. “It would be the first infusion of new money into this system since 1987.”

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