Report Quietly Released Eight Days Before Hearing
Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance president, Arthur G. Purves, reported today that a 99-page study on options for toll hikes on the Dulles Toll Road provides revenue estimates for several toll-hike strategies, including tolls up to $3 ($2 at the main toll plaza and $1 at exit ramps).
A pdf file of the study can be downloaded from the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance home page, www.fcta.org. Due to graphics included in the study, the 99-page report is a large document (23 Mb), and takes several minutes to download. The toll options are on pages 5-14 through 5-16 (pages 85-87 of the pdf file).
The Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) is scheduled to vote on a toll increase next Thursday, February 17.
The February 2nd Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) press release announcing the vote did not initially mention the study and did not mention that additional toll increases were being considered.
The currently-proposed increase to 75 cents at the main toll plaza and 50 cents on the exit ramps applies to building rail out to Reston. Further toll increases are being considered for completing construction to Loudoun County.
VDOT did not post the Dulles Toll Study until after Mr. Purves asked to see it. It was posted on February 8, only nine days before the CTB vote and eight days before the CTB's public hearing on the toll hike. It was posted six days after the VDOT press release announcing the tollhike.
The toll increases are being considered even though Fairfax County real estate taxes have increased $1600 in the last five years, state taxes were increased $1.4 billion last year, and state tax collections are experiencing an additional surplus of $1.2 billion. None of last year's $1.4 billion state tax hike was allocated to transportation.
The toll increases are expected to raise about $300 million over five years to pay for the state's share of Dulles rail construction to Reston.
Another Fairfax County real estate tax hike is expected later this month.