County supervisors are once again this year asking the General Assembly to restore funding for the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which funds hundreds of millions of dollars a year in transportation projects in the region.
In Loudoun, the authority has been a major funder of a number of projects, including on Northstar Boulevard, Loudoun County Parkway, Shellhorn Road, Evergreen Mills Road at Watson Road, the Rt. 7/Battlefield Parkway interchange, and others.
But the authority took a hit in 2018 when the General Assembly voted—with support from a Loudoun delegate—to strip away two sources of revenue, hotel tax and grantor’s tax revenues, to help pay for Metro. That was expected to lose the Authority as much as $100 million a year.
In 2019, some progress was made when a bill to establish new fees and taxes around Interstate 81 to fund improvements on the interstate also included a provision to distribute some of that revenue—estimated at $20 million—to the NVTA each year.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also expected to impact transportation funding, depending both on how it affects tax revenues and commuting patterns as teleworking could become more common in the long term.
This year, restoring all of the NVTA’s funding once again tops Loudoun’s list of state legislative priorities.
Roads generally are nominally a state responsibility, but the region and county board have both stepped in to direct massive local and regional tax revenues to transportation projects as the state has fallen farther and farther behind and traffic congestion became the norm.
This is also the year that Loudoun Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) took the wheel at the NVTA. Randall this year chairs the authority, having been elected by her peers to the authority in December. Last year, she served as vice chair, and chaired the authority’s Governance and Personnel Committee. State Sen. Jennifer B. Boysko (D-33), one of Loudoun’s representatives in Richmond, also serves on the authority.
Supervisors will meet with state legislators Monday evening at 5 p.m., a customary get-together before each year’s General Assembly session. The meeting will be conducted under the county’s emergency continuity of governance ordinance, allowing remote participation; see details on watching the meeting on the county calendar or at Loudoun.gov/remoteparticipation.
See a map of NVTA-funded projects at NOVAGateway.org.