The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a special tax to finance transportation projects in the Tyson’s Corner area, overcoming opposition from Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), who suggested cutting funding for subsidized housing to help close transportation funding shortfalls.
“This is a major step in the right direction for realizing the vision of Tysons,” board chairman Sharon Bulova said. “Investing in Tysons is an investment in the future of Fairfax County. Never before has such a long range, comprehensive plan been developed to support a major redevelopment initiative. I’m pleased that the board has approved this plan, which addresses our present and future transportation challenges in the Tysons area.”
The board proposed adding a service tax district which would increase the real estate tax on businesses and residents of Tysons by an estimated 7-8%.
Herrity proposed reducing the workforce housing proffers by 50% and using those funds to pay for needed transportation improvements eliminating the need for the service district tax on businesses and residents.
“I believe we do have a role in providing housing for those truly in need, however, I do not believe it should be our role to use our proffer dollars to provide housing opportunities for those making up to $130,000 per year,” Herrity said.
“Rather than ask our developers to build housing for people making up to $130,000 per year with their proffer dollars and then impose a service district tax on the current and future businesses and residents of Tysons to fund transportation; I propose we reduce the workforce housing requirements of the plan, have the developers pay for the transportation improvements with the savings and eliminate the service district tax on our businesses and residents,” Herrity said.
The plan identifies funding for critical transportation improvements from a variety of sources, including local funding, state, federal, regional, as well as the private sector. The plan will include participation from current and future Tysons stakeholders.
The plan identified four different categories of transportation improvements, including a grid of streets, neighborhood and access improvements, transit, and Tysons-wide road improvements. Each of the four categories was allocated a funding estimate total consisting of private and public funds.
The board asked county staff to prepare an advertisement of a public hearing on the creation of a special Tysons-wide tax district. The tax district would generate revenue for half of the private sector’s funding responsibility for Tysons-wide road improvements. Additional funding would come from properties seeking redevelopment within Tyson’s.