Media release from the office of Kirk Cox on February 8, 2018
House Republican Leaders introduce plan to reform and invest in Metro without raising taxes
Practical Solutions to Everyday Issues
Leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday introduced a serious plan to reform and invest in Metro without raising taxes. At a press conference Speaker Kirk Cox, Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo, and House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones announced the plan to inject over $100 million annually in Metro without raising taxes.
We understand how important Metro is to Virginia’s economy, specifically the Northern Virginia business community (said Speaker Cox [R-Colonial Heights]). It’s a core asset to the region, generates over $600 million in tax revenue, and is responsible for the continued economic success of the region, but the system needs dire reforms.
The amended bill, HB1539, introduced by Chairman Hugo, will inject over $100 million annually in Metro by redirecting existing regional transportation funding to WMATA’s capital needs. The plan includes no tax increases and relies heavily on regional and local monies. The plan calls for the existing Northern Virginia recordation tax designated for transportation to be allocated to the Commonwealth Mass Transit Fund, 1% of existing motor vehicle rental tax to be allocated to the Commonwealth Mass Transit Fund, and the existing 2% Northern Virginia transient occupancy tax (TOT) to be allocated to the Commonwealth Mass Transit Fund.
Costs have spiraled and safety has decreased over the past several years (said Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo [R-Fairfax]). We are committed to getting these reforms and willing to invest in Metro, because we know it is important to Metro’s users, the business community, and Virginia’s economy.
This plan includes a two percent cap on operating growth, a review of board governance, a review of the legal and organizational structure, labor costs and relations, outstanding pension obligations, and safety measures.
This is an issue that the Appropriations Committee has been monitoring for several years (said House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones [R-Suffolk]). The money will help, but the reforms are the only way to make Metro viable for the long term.