Transportation Funding - 2011 Legislative Program
2. Major new revenue sources for transportation must be enacted during the 2011 General Assembly session.
What was once a crisis in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads has become
a catastrophe for nearly the entire Commonwealth. There is no viable
transportation solution that does not include long-term, dedicated,
sustainable, new multimodal revenues.
Over the past three years, the Commonwealth Transportation Board has cut
$4.6 billion from the Six Year Program. Secondary and urban system
construction funds have essentially been eliminated, despite the fact
that the secondary roads are a Commonwealth responsibility. Sixyear
secondary road allocations to counties in Northern Virginia are now less
than $2,000 each and localities are being allocated no urban construction
funds. In addition, the growth in maintenance spending has been reduced
from 4% to 3%, even though maintenance costs are increasing overall. The
Commonwealth is risking serious disinvestment in its existing
transportation infrastructure that will be more difficult and more
expensive to correct in the future. Today, approximately $1 billion is
needed to address existing deficient pavement conditions, and
approximately $3.7 billion is needed to fix the Commonwealth’s deficient
bridges. Very shortly the Commonwealth will be unable to ensure that the
required matches are available for the federal transportation funds the
Commonwealth receives. Should this happen, Virginia would have to return
these federal funds, further compounding the crisis.
Fairfax County continues to support additional state and regional transportation funding for highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and have taken actions to increase funding locally. In 2006, the region’s TransAction 2030 Long-Range Transportation Plan estimated that Northern Virginia alone needs $700 million per year in new transportation funding to address the region’s transportation problems. This figure has increased since then, because most of the major HB 3202 revenue sources have been eliminated.
Fairfax County seeks reinstatement of exclusive Northern Virginia revenues in the range of at least $300 million annually, as well as 100 percent of Northern Virginia’s contribution of additional statewide revenues, to address transportation needs not originally covered by the HB 3202 funding approved for Northern Virginia. Both the regional and statewide revenues should be provided from stable, reliable, proven and permanent source(s).
The General Assembly must adopt new statewide transportation revenue
sources to bolster existing highway and transit revenue sources that are
not generating sufficient funding to meet the Commonwealth’s critical
highway needs or meet the Commonwealth’s statutory 95 percent share of
eligible transit operating and capital costs (net of fares and federal
assistance). This additional transit funding alone would require
approximately $166 million annually in new funds for the limited transit
projects and eligible operating costs included in the Six Year Program.
Additional funds to dramatically increase Secondary Road investments are
Any funding solution must ensure that dedicated funding for Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority capital improvements and for Virginia
Railway Express capital and operating expenses are addressed.
Existing state General Fund revenue streams (almost half of which now go to localities) are required and used for core services of the Commonwealth, such as education and public safety. These historically underfunded, locally provided core services have already experienced significant cuts, due to reduced General Fund revenues, and shifting the state’s transportation funding responsibility to localities by using the General Fund increases local budget pressures without providing a true transportation solution. (Revises and updates previous transportation funding position.)