“We’re going to pay for negative impacts,” including more crime, traffic and noise, said Molly Peacock, with the Morgan at McLean condominiums. “Where are we going to be in 20 years? Taxes only go up.”
Resident David Dunlap called it “highly speculative” to suggest that all property values in Tysons will increase.
Others said that if the county’s goal is to draw more residents to Tysons, the tax district will do just the opposite. They said Tysons landowners already pay extra transportation and rail-to-Dulles taxes, and they questioned the fairness of the proposed district boundaries, saying they are too wide and shouldn’t include properties that are far outside walking distance from the new Metro stops. One speaker suggested a tiered tax rate.
The board’s vote to defer the decision was unanimous, although Supervisor Pat S. Herrity (R-Springfield) disagreed with the rest of the board about what should be done to address the public’s concerns.
Herrity advocated dropping the tax district altogether, suggesting the county make up for it by reducing affordable-housing and green-building proffers for Tysons developers and increasing proffers for transportation improvements.
Also Tuesday, the board backed a formal request by Supervisor Gerry W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) for information from the county’s attorneys on whether the county has the legal authority to require new county employees who smoke to attend cessation classes.
Hyland, whose father smoked and died of lung cancer, also asked for guidance on whether the county could legally consider tobacco use in hiring decisions and whether it could ban smoking on all county property.
He first raised the issue in October, saying that reducing smoking among county workers would benefit all employees as well as taxpayers. Since then, he has received angry feedback, he said.
Bulova was careful to note that in backing Hyland’s inquiry, board members weren’t necessarily saying they want any of the ideas to go further. She said she doesn’t support forced cessation classes or a ban on hiring smokers. Other supervisors also expressed hesitation about compulsory measures.