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Metro tax district close to finalization

Loudoun residents concerned about the Metro tax sub-districts in Ashburn, including recently added commercial parcels, will have the opportunity to comment Tuesday night at a Board of Supervisors public hearing.

On Dec. 5 the board approved the general Metro Tax Service District in Loudoun County. The revenue collected will help pay for the construction and operation of the multi-billion dollar Silver Line extension that will bring Metro to the Dulles airport and into Ashburn.

Supervisors were eager to pass the general tax district in order to start collecting the revenue in January 2013.

“Every day of lost revenue is a day of additional debt,” Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said, lobbying for the board to approve the tax district. “Every day we bank revenue, we will be able to reduce the debt we have to issue.”

Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) cast the only dissenting vote against implementing the tax district. Delgaudio has been a staunch opponent of the Metro Silver Line extension to Loudoun County.

The general, or core, tax district was slightly altered from its original state created in July, when the Board of Supervisors voted to pay just less than 5 percent of the overall Dulles rail project cost. The county’s cost, 4.8 percent, is estimated to be around $270 million.

A number of business parcels east of Route 28 to the Fairfax County line were drawn out of the tax plan. The board then added several Ashburn commercial parcels to the district as well, all within a mile of the proposed Route 772 stop.

The county intends to remove the general tax district after Dulles rail is completed and operating, with hopes the smaller sub-districts—at Route 772 and Route 606—will pay for the county’s obligation to the project.

According to county staff, the anticipated revenue generated by adding the Ashburn parcels to the Metrorail district is approximately $259,000. With the removal of the Sterling parcels, the net increase in revenue from the original estimates by adding the Ashburn parcels would be $93,000 at a tax rate of 20 cents per $100 of assessed property value in fiscal 2014.

Staff maintains this would raise the total forecasted revenue for the entire service district to $6.3 million.

The new Ashburn parcels are non-residential and include the so-called Farmwell property recently sold by the county to RagingWire. The parcel was not originally included because it was a government-owned, nontaxable piece of property. The amended district would include all parcels that are within the following bounds: Ashburn Village Boulevard on the west, Farmwell Road on the north and Waxpool Road on the north and south.


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