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Loudoun Chamber Praises Transportation Bill

The organization representing county businesses laud ‘courage’ of legislators who supported the bill.

The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce over the weekend offered praises to members of the Virginia General Assembly who supported a package to fund transportation needs in the state. Attempts to infuse additional cash into the system have failed over the years, making the new bill the first serious infusion of transportation revenue for the state since 1987.

General Assembly members who represent Loudoun were divided in their votes. Only two Democrats representing Loudoun now supported the bill. Republicans were divided on the issue, but overall, the majority of Loudoun’s delegation voted for the bill.

Here’s how they voted:

In favor

  • Sen. Mark Herring (D-33)
  • Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31)
  • Del. Tag Greason (R-32)
  • Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67)
  • Del. Joe May (R-33)
  • Del. Randy Minchew (R-10)
  • Del. Tom Rust (R-86)

Opposed

  • Sen. Dick Black (R-13)
  • Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27)
  • Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34)
  • Del. David Ramadan (R-87)

The Loudoun Chamber’s statement:

The President of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce today applauded the hard work and courage of a majority of General Assembly members, whose commitment to the continued economic prosperity and strong quality of life in Virginia led to today’s vote to adopt an historic transportation funding bill that will make a significant difference in addressing the Commonwealth’s decades-long transportation funding crisis.

“Today, Virginia witnessed an act that is all too rare in our political environment: members of the Senate and House of Delegates from both parties set aside their difference and partisan interests to come together to forge a historic agreement to help solve Virginia’s long term transportation funding needs. With Governor Bob McDonnell’s expected signature, today’s transportation funding measure will make a positive difference in the lives of millions of Virginia’s citizens and businesses. Just as importantly, it proves that it is possible for America’s elected leaders – whether from different parties, different regions and different backgrounds - can pull together, work together and compromise to reach solutions that will preserve our country’s greatness,” said Loudoun County Chamber President Tony Howard.

“As business leaders in our community who contribute significant tax revenues to local, state and federal governments, Loudoun County Chamber members take very seriously the decision to raise taxes and fees to invest in the Commonwealth’s roads, railways and ports. But as business men and women, our Chamber members know that investment in infrastructure is the only way possible to increase revenues and to create the jobs, economic growth and new tax dollars that Virginia will need to remain competitive in the 21st century economy,” Howard said.

“While the legislation adopted today is not perfect, it does represent a compromise that meets the main objectives that the Loudoun County Chamber can support: it relies on a variety of broad-based revenue sources to generate new, significant and sustainable funds to help fix Virginia’s congested highways, underdeveloped rail systems and inadequate multi-modal links to support of Virginia’s efforts to reach new international markets,” Howard added. “I salute the Senators and Delegates who supported this legislation and who found the courage to put ideology and partisan politics ahead of what was good for Virginia. History will reward their courage and conviction.”

“Additionally, I wish to personally thank Governor Bob McDonnell for the leadership he showed in making transportation funding the centerpiece issue of his final legislative session in office. The Governor could have taken the easy road by declaring that the politics of division were too hard to overcome, but instead he risked every ounce of his political capital on this effort, for the sake of Virginia’s economy, its quality of life and its future competitiveness. For that, every Virginia should be grateful,” Howard added.

joe brewer February 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM
The chamber never met a dollar they could not spend better then the person who earned it. How does registration fee increases that go to Metrorail and Metrobus improve our roads? About 110 million a year to subsidies these expensive transportation venues or 1 billion 100 million over ten years, yikes! Rail does not pay buses are a drain and the Chamber salutes a pork spending package that place the burden on vehicle owners. Not perfect, that's the only you got right!
Martha Polkey February 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM
The legislation lowers fees for actual users and replaces it with a regressive (sales) tax on everyone--except for owners of fuel efficient hybrid vehicles, who are punished with a $100 fee for their efforts at environmental stewardship. Instead of providing Northern Virginians with more of the tax money they send down to Richmond each year to improve transportation, they raise taxes--again, on everyone, not on users--to pay for neglect of NoVA's infrastructure. Finally, about $1 billion in NoVA critical transportation needs are in the pipeline, which is about the cost of the new outer beltway that under the guise of "freight to Dulles" will open up huge swaths of land in Prince William to development, while adding congestion to Loudoun's roads. We know the one they really want to do--and it's not serving existing residents. Loudoun's Chamber is like many chambers, which are driven by development industry interests, not the broader, and sometimes conflicting, interests of local businesses. So the Loudoun Chamber along with development interests are always happy to have taxpayers fund their infrastructure costs to further increase profitability.

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