At a Glance

Transit Bill Changes

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) yesterday announced a series of changes to a statewide transportation plan approved last month by the General Assembly. Lawmakers will consider the revisions April 4. Among the proposals:

- About $1.1 billion a year to spend statewide on road and transit projects, instead of $1.3 billion.

- Borrowing would rise from $2.5 billion to $3 billion, over 10 years instead of eight years.

- In the plan's first year, the amount of general fund money would drop from $148 million to $64 million. Two-thirds of the general fund money would go for transit projects, increasing the amount of money the state spends on transit.

- About $400 million a year would go for Northern Virginia road and transit projects. The money would be raised from seven locally and regionally imposed taxes and fees. Six of nine local governments -- instead of all nine -- would have to vote to authorize the regional transportation authority to impose seven taxes and fees. A similar package for the Hampton Roads area would generate about $200 million a year.

- Local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads also would get the option of voting to impose three additional taxes and fees, including a tax on commercial real estate. If a local government approves those optional taxes, it could keep the money to spend on transportation needs within that jurisdiction.

- Counties would not be responsible for taking care of roads in new subdivisions.

- The state would expand the scope of transportation impact fees for by-right commercial and residential development in about 75 communities with growing population. The revenue from fees would be spent on road improvements that are needed because of the development.


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