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LTE: Metro Tax District Hurts Some Small Businesses

A reader shared this letter to the board of supervisors asking to leave Ashburn Technology Park out of the district.

Chairman York and Loudoun Board of Supervisors,

I am one of the leasers in the Ashburn Technology Park, a property on Waxpool Road that you have recently proposed to move into the Metro Tax District. I cannot express how disappointed I am that you decided to bring this property into the discussion.

For some of you that may not know it, most leasers are responsible for their prorated portion of the property taxes for the building or property they occupy. While I am unsure that double dipping Raging Wire, (selling them the adjacent property and now charging them additional taxes), will hurt their bottom line, this could be the final straw for many of us, the small businesses just hanging on.

My company will not get any direct benefit from Metro, as I am sure no one will be packing up their HVAC units and bringing them to my shop by Metro. My employees live close by or in WV and won't ride Metro to get here. I don't think Metro will let me wrestle a 20-ton Air Conditioning Unit on one of their cars to take somewhere to install, do you?

That leaves me paying fees on the toll road to get to some of my customers and I see that the MWAA Board just passed toll hikes on that road for the next 2 years. I am sure hikes on the Greenway are coming too. When does it stop? If included in the Tax District my business will be subsidizing Metro in at least 2 ways while seeing ZERO benefit. Taxes and Tolls!!!!

There are quite a few other small businesses in the Ashburn Technology Park that won't directly benefit from Metro either. Without taking too much time to ponder it, I am not sure any of them will. We are not really within walking distance of any Metro Station and provide no services that most folks would take Metro and then walk to. We are the smalI guys, the 3,000-square-foot flex/warehouse lease folks, contractors, care givers, dog groomers, swimming class school, gym, etc., that provide the basic services that our county residents rely on. 

On another note, if Raging Wire had gone elsewhere would I even be writing this email? My gut tells me that answer is NO! We were not included earlier and should not be now. I ask that you and the rest of the Board reconsider this and look out for those of us who work hard and would like to continue to do business in Loudoun County.

John Murphy, President
Murphy's Mechanical Services, Inc.

No Toll Increase November 16, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Scrap phase 2 until the cash is built up, the population density requirements are met, and there is enough ridership to make it work. MWAA corruption just got exposed in a USDOT IG report, another one focused on the rail project began in May, and the FBI is currently investigating them too. Enough already! What happens if the Federal Circuit issues a decision in Corr v. MWAA declaring that MWAA cannot collect tolls to pay for the rail project? Virginia must take or toll road back from MWAA and put an end to this corruption and abuse. Sign the petition at www.noTOLLincrease.org. There are better ways to solve our transportation problems!
Bob Bruhns November 27, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Evidence already indicated that the price for this rail line is two times what it should be, and now the recent US DOT Inspector General audit report shows that MWAA was FUNNELING contracts to a mysterious "Contractor A" that was charging 1.3 to 3.3 times as much as other contractors, for the same work. That's not a typo - 1.3 to 3.3 times as much as other contractors, for the same work! Did you think it was impossible that the Silver Line could cost two times what it should? When are you going to wake up? Face it, people - the evidence shows that massively excessive pricing on this rail job is causing a huge and unnecessary financial struggle, but our so-called 'leaders' and our news media are whistling and looking the other way. Contact your so-called 'leaders' and demand that they call out the cost estimators for this rail job and question them about the justification for their incredibly high cost estimates. $34,015 per space for parking garages when they should cost more like $17,000 per space, $101 million for a Metrorail station when an even bigger station cost about $45 million in posh, wealthy Fairfield Connecticut, $250 million per mile when it should cost $120 million per mile - let's see our 'leaders' ask the estimators about that, shall we? Because if we take no action now, we will be paying a double price, PLUS INTEREST, for generations. People - how long will it take, before you begin to realize that you are being robbed?
No Toll Increase November 28, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Great letter, thank you! My guess is you don't appreciate the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce's Railroading of our County's small businesses to pay for this boondoggle. Did you know that besides the tax district you've been "amended into", they endorsed a Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Tax of up to $0.10/$100 (8% increase over $1.235 base rate)? Loudoun's rail tax districts aren't even sufficient to pay for the Loudoun taxpayer subsidies to Metro... look for more county-wide tax increases coming soon. And don't forget the sky-rocketing tolls that will reduce mobility and isolate Loudoun from the rest of the DC region. If enough concerned citizens get involved, we can stop this abuse of taxpayers and toll road users. For more information, visit www.NoTOLLincrease.org or https://www.facebook.com/NoTollIncrease
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