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Virginia Politics
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 12/28/2011

McDonnell does not support shifting transportation costs to localities

Gov. Bob McDonnell has a message for the Northern Virginia officials worried that he wants to shift the cost of state funding for transportation to local governments: He’s not interested.

The chairmen of the Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun county boards of supervisors recently penned an op-ed explaining why so-called “devolution” is a bad deal for the state’s most populous region.

“Although we are of different political parties, we are firmly united in opposition to devolution because of the massive property tax increase it will produce for the residents and businesses of Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties,’’ they wrote.
Gov. Bob McDonnell is surrounded by media after presenting his budget before a joint session of the House and Senate money committees Dec. 19. (Steve Helber/AP)

But McDonnell (R) recently told reporters that he would not give localities responsibility with no money.

“Their fear is they get what the federal government does to us — mandates without money — and I fully understand that,’’ he said. “The last thing I want to do is put another unfunded mandate on local government. If we just did a pure devolution with no money, that’s what it would be.”

McDonnell did say the issue needs to be studied further because local governments have authority to approve road plans but no responsibility to pay for them.

“That’s a real unhealthy mix,’’ he said. “If you have the authority, then you ought to have the ability to pay for it. That’s just common sense.’’

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 12/28/2011

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