"I now call upon those who opposed [the sales tax increase] to help us find workable solutions. . . . I am not going to give up on better roads and improved mass transit. I still believe Virginians want better transportation networks and I am going to continue to work hard to achieve them."
-- Gov. Mark R. Warner (D)
"Even when the polls showed the tax hike passing by 60-65 percent this summer, I was confident we could win. My organization's 'NO TAX HIKE' signs promoted a direct, simple message, and in the end worked as well as Jim Gilmore's 'NO CAR TAX' signs, helping to overcome the millions of dollars in advertising spent by the pro-tax side. This state is rightly skeptical of tax increases, and every time taxes have come to the ballot, we have defeated them. I look forward to working with the governor on ways we can responsibly manage our budget in the future without raising the sales tax or other taxes."
-- James Parmelee, president,
Republicans United for Tax Relief
"These results do not change the fact that Northern Virginia has serious transportation needs. The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce will not hesitate to continue its fight for real solutions . . . that will ease congestion on our roadways and in our rail cars."
-- Michael J. Lewis, chairman,
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
"Voters rejected the status quo, the old approach of simply widening highways, while continuing to scatter development and consuming open space without regard to the traffic impact. Voters rejected writing a blank check to subsidize more sprawl. This vote signals an end to the domination of Virginia politics by the land development industry."
-- Stewart Schwartz,
Coalition for Smarter Growth
"Clearly, resolving Northern Virginia's transportation woes will now be much more difficult as there is no magical 'tooth fairy' to bring congestion relief. However, the referendum's failure should not seriously affect the strategic projects . . . important to the region's long-term future and airport ground access. New Potomac River bridges were not part of the referendum . . . and the Western Transportation Corridor would not have been funded by the referendum proceeds. The funding plan for rail in the Dulles Corridor predated the referendum. It would have been helped by, but happily is not dependent upon, referendum proceeds."
-- Leo Schefer, president,
Washington Airports Task Force
"The test of whether our elected officials can dig themselves out of their own hole is whether they can start offering real solutions and not blame congestion on we citizens just because we failed to vote for their tax hike. Our state legislators should return to Richmond with instructions to 'get it right this time' by negotiating with the downstate members of the General Assembly for authority for a second, more transit-oriented referendum. . . ."
-- Paul Hughes, president,
Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth
"One thing's for sure: Defeating the referendum hasn't made our traffic problems go away. So we'll go back to work tomorrow to figure out how to solve them. If a referendum dedicated to Northern Virginia isn't the answer, we need to come up with another one."
-- Linda D. Rabbitt, chairman,
Greater Washington Board of Trade