Thursday, March 1, 2012

Loudoun Supervisors Vote to Raise Tax Rate to $1.40

"I thought Metro was free!"
Sorry if this articles subject line is annoying, but that is what our Supervisors will need to do if they Opt In to Metro because it is not free. I hope that by the time you finish reading this, that annoying feeling is ten times worse.

We have 9 self-proclaimed conservative supervisors currently on the Board. Some understand Metrorail completely, while others are waiting for the final numbers on the most unbelievably expensive scam in the history of Loudoun.

There is no need to wait because the real cost numbers have already been delivered to the last Board of Supervisors on April 15, 2011, in the RCLCO Study that removed any doubt as to how bad  Metrorail is for Loudoun. The study estimates lifecycle costs; that means how much we would pay over time for being Metro's cash cows.

Before I summarize the costs that developers, some business leaders and some of the Supervisors (Chairman Scott York is leaning to a vote for rail) are ignoring, let’s review two things you as a taxpayer need to know.

1. If the supervisors vote to give developers near the rail stations this great big gift, compliments of the taxpayers of Loudoun, your tax bill will definitely start to climb.

2. Voting 'yes' to bring Metro into Loudoun is such a poorly negotiated deal, that, in a few years, Loudoun will become a stakeholder in the multi-billion dollar rebuilding of the worn out Metro system, see it here on page 17-18. When that happens, a budget battle will begin like Loudoun has never seen. A $13 billion CNI in capital needs inventory is Metro stuff that needs to be replaced.

Right now in Loudoun, people are up in arms over small budget tweeks that affect a FLES language program, or some money to a gardeners' program for example. In a few years, if they vote yes to Metro, we won’t be cutting classes, we’ll be cancelling schools.

Tax Increase Notice
Your Property Taxes Will Increase 10% !

 If Your Current Annual Tax Bill is based on an assessed value of $400,000.

• Before Metro.....................$5120.
• Add 10% Metro Tax???......$510.
• Soon You Will Pay...........$5630.


"If Metro to Loudoun is so good for business, then let the businesses, developers and riders pay for it and keep the taxpayers out of it"

Contact your Supervisor TODAY before they vote and demand that we let developers pay for it.
 Here's the information to make the call.

Loudoun can opt out and pay nothing and still get the Metro to Route 28 and the Airport.  
Developers are licking their chops, and are about to gorge themselves on a taxpayer funded feast, unless you put a stop to it. They have already started building near the proposed stations because they think they have struck it rich here in Loudoun with taxpayers who don't care. After all, the word is out that incomes in Loudoun are high.

If you are saying "Show me" about the costs, the horrid details of this union friendly, crony centered, rip-off are hidden in the 185 page RCLCO Study that  pro-railers want to keep hidden from you. For your convenience, we pulled and posted below the part that some of the Supervisors won't talk about.

1.  Go to page page 41; "Exhibit V-5 shows the estimated difference by revenue and expenditure        category between the baseline and Phase 2 Extension scenarios for the entire county. The total  countywide net fiscal impact of the Phase 2 Extension is projected to be $234,577,000 from 2011 to 2040."
That may sound good, but simply put, this tells us that over 30 years Loudoun will take in about $8 million more per year with rail than without.

2.  Go to page 40... X. Fiscal Impact Analysis
"RCLCO has conducted a detailed fiscal impact analysis of the station area and countywide
development projections forecasted in the market analysis section of this report. This analysis
does not include capital costs, so none of the results in this report reflect the effects of capital
costs or of proffers. The analysis also does not take account of Phase 2 Extension operating

Here's what that means:
All the costs to build and maintain this system are left out of the phony "cost-benefit analysis!" A true cost-benefit analysis would include the annual $25 million mortgage payment for construction and $50 -$75 million mandatory annual payment to Metro for operation, maintenance, and subsidizing half the price of other people's fares.
Opting in means Loudoun will be raising your taxes so that they can send tens of millions or perhaps over $100 million a year to Metro, year after year after year, indefinitely.

What are some of the supervisors waiting for? Good question. They are waiting to find out if the yearly LOSS to Loudoun will be $50 million per year, $75 million, maybe $120 per year. It seems this decision has some of our supervisors stumped. Go figure.

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Metro Stakeholders
Buying into this mess would be like paying 100 times the face value for tickets to cruise on the Titanic... after it sunk! It is an absolute no–brainer.

The run up to the rail vote will get interesting though. There is BIG money pushing this wealth-redistribution scheme, and that is why some leaders are on the fence. We are talking about really big money propping up the "We love Metro chorus" from the developers, builders, and the contractors.

If you want to know who the promoters are, look at your Supervisors campaign money-in data here. 

There are a couple more things to watch for in weeks ahead. The money-hungry rail promoters have not given up and are still trying to get you to believe this Metro project will benefit you even though that couldn't be further from the truth. They have asked to have this RCLCO Study redone to massage the results.  Sound fishy?

They have also found a go-to guy at George Mason University who has come up with a set of unsubstantiated opinions that attempt to overshadow this credible RCLCO study. His name is Stephen Fuller and his opinions appear to be heavily biased by his numerous ties to businesses and candidates who profit directly from rail spending.

What makes sense for Loudoun? Opt Out of Phase 2 and pay NOTHING. If Metro stops at Dulles, the difference will be a savings of billions for Loudoun. Let them run it to Winchester or West Virginia if they want, but not on the backs of citizens.

Next time someone asks if you like Metro to Loudoun, tell them it’s fine, but NOT if it comes out of our hard-earned money.

David LaRock

Hamilton Virginia

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