The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has one major message to the county's delegation to the Virginia General Assembly: Find ways to help us fund our transportation needs.
In presenting the list of items the board would like to see passed in the legislative session beginning on Wednesday, the supervisors Monday asked for laws giving the county the right to increase the tax rate for recording real estate deeds.
Revenue for the recordation tax, which last year raised more than $1 million for Loudoun, would be used solely for funding transportation improvements. The requested increase is from 5 cents per $100 assessed value to the state rate of 15 cents.
Also in Loudoun's legislative packet is a recommendation that that builders of new developments be required to provide a reasonable share of the costs of transportation improvements through impact or utility fees.
The Loudoun supervisors also asked the delegation to support some sort of method to use state bonds for improvements to Rte. 28. The state's court system recently ruled that revenue from gas taxes could not be used for highway improvements.
"There's got to be a fair and equitable way" to raise funds to improve Rte. 28, said Sen. Charles Waddell (D). "The impact fee, if drafted right, could make a lot of sense."
Waddell and Dels. Robert Andrews (R) and Kenneth Rollins (R), who compose the county's delegation, were asked to give their support to several other bills and budget amendments by the Loudoun supervisors.
Among the county's priorities for the General Assembly are funding for mental health, aging, community service, adoption and child and adult protection programs.
Loudoun's supervisors also want funding and legislation to protect and recognize the importance of ground water to state municipalities.
Prior to meeting with their delegation, the board of supervisors, which includes new members Betsey Brown (D-Catoctin) and Alice Bird (I-Sterling), unanimously elected Betty Tatum (D-Guilford) as chairman and Charles Bos (D-Leesburg) as vice chairman.
"I'm real excited about the new board," said Tatum. "I think most of the members are ready to take a proactive rather than a reactive stance to deal with applicants."
Tatum, a supervisor since 1981, was the board's vice chairman in 1986 and chairman in 1987. She is the first woman to serve as chairman of Loudoun's Board of Supervisors. Tatum works full time at the position, for which she will receive $20,000 this year.
Bos, who succeeds Andrew Bird as vice chairman, was appointed to the Board of Supervisors a year ago to take the place of Frank Raflo, who retired because of illness. Bos owns an import car repair business in Leesburg.
Prince William County officials gave the county's delegation to the Virginia General Assembly this week a New Year's wish list that contains a number of old standbys as well as some brand new items they'd like to see passed.
At a luncheon on Tuesday, the supervisors issued appeals to the state legislators for laws giving the county the right to tax restaurant meals and tobacco, to impose fees on developers to offset the public costs of new subdivisions, and to allow voters to elect members to the School Board.
If these items have a familiar ring, that's a testament to years of failure in Richmond for many of the favored initiatives of Prince William, Loudoun and other Northern Virginia localities.
The supervisors haven't let this disappointing history prevent them from adding some new requests: the creation of a George Mason University satellite campus in Prince William, and state funding to pay for half of a proposed expansion of the Prince William-Manassas regional jail.
Prince William County Executive Robert S. Noe Jr. said he is "more optimistic each year" about the legislative prospects of oft-spurned proposals such as a tobacco tax. A rate of 6 cents per pack would bring Prince William about $1 million a year, according to county projections.
The fees on developers would apply to land zoned for subdivisions before 1976 -- the year Prince William obtained the legal right to extract roads, sewers and other public facilities from developers in exchange for a rezoning approval.
Among the other proposals in the supervisors' wish list were:Authority allowing Prince William to levy an additional one-half percent to the sales tax. This would bring the county about $7 million annually.
Authority allowing Prince William to provide interest-free loans to residents buying vans to be used in the county "ride-sharing" program for commuters.
A major expansion in state funding, to $140 million, for Virginia's Community Services Boards. This would double the state's funding to $4.8 million annually to the Prince William Community Services Board, which sponsors mental health programs.
Staff writer John Harris contributed to this report.