Fairfax holds hearing Tuesday on new Tysons taxes

Photo - Tysons Corner (Examiner file photo)
Tysons Corner (Examiner file photo)
Local,Virginia,Taylor Holland

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will hear from county residents and developers for the first time since endorsing the $3.1 billion redevelopment of Tysons Corner that will require them to pay new taxes.

Officials said they have already heard from residents who fear the 40-year development plan, designed to transform Tysons into the county's urban downtown, looks too far ahead too quickly.

Residents are also opposed to the 7-cent to 9-cent increase in property taxes that will be imposed on the Tysons area and its developers. Those taxes are expected to raise a total of $253 million.

"Have we not paid enough already by continuous traffic jams, endless over-sized vehicles, massive construction and road closures?" Marilynne Gisin, a Tysons resident, wrote to board members. "If you want to impose a tax, levy [it on] the entire commonwealth because they all travel here for shopping and entertainment."

Michael Bogasky, president of the Tysons-based Rotonda Condominium Unit Owners Association, said higher taxes during a recession will "create an economic ghost town" in Tysons because no one will want to relocate there.

Despite the expected opposition, Walter Alcorn, vice chairman of the Planning Commission, said he supports creating the tax district because it would tax those "who will reap the most rewards."

"I think that everyone realizes that some things need to be done to make this work," Alcorn said. "We've worked to build off of that."

The $253 million in new taxes being imposed on Tysons developers are in addition to the $865 million they're expected to pay to build streets and other amenities around their businesses. The additional $1.7 billion needed to complete the project are likely to be passed on to all county taxpayers.

"I think the Planning Committee's recommendation is a fair, achievable plan," said Sally Horn, who will speak on behalf of the McLean Citizens Association. "It ensures that he who benefits is responsible, and it outlines what we need to do to keep growing."

At least 16 people have signed up for Tuesday's hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Complex, 12000 Government Center Parkway. At least one other public hearing will be scheduled before the county creates the tax district.

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