Some good (or at least decent) news for a change – looks like we now have dedicated funding for Metro (see video of House debate/near-unanimous vote to approve), something we’ve needed for years (albeit without new taxes to pay for that dedicated funding, which is very unfortunate). According to Robert McCartney of the Washington Post: “Virginia lawmakers agree to give Metro $154 million/year in permanent, additional funding, on condition that Maryland and District each contribute their shares so transit system gets a total of $500 million annually. Full story coming soon. … Plan does NOT include increases in No. Va. taxes on real estate transactions or hotel stays. It does rely in part on revenue from setting a regional floor on wholesale gasoline taxes. Most of money is being diverted from other priorities…Va. Metro bill also sets conditions: 3 percent ceiling on annual increases in operating subsidies. Alternate directors can’t participate in full Metro board meetings. It does NOT include tough, anti-union provision sought by House GOP, but a softer labor measure…To clarify: Virginia lawmakers say this bill approved today yields $132 mln a year for Metro. The additional $22 mln a year, to get to Virginia’s share of $154 mln, would come from a bill passed yesterday setting floor for regional wholesale gasoline taxes.”
P.S. I’m told that this bill isn’t as good as I had originally thought, because it “takes money from NVTA instead of new taxes/revenue.” Also, I’m told that Tim Hugo, far from deserving credit for this bill, deserves blame for blocking any additional tax sources to fund Metro.