Fairfax OKs tax hike to redevelop Tysons

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

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed a $3.1 billion redevelopment plan for Tysons Corner despite vocal opposition from residents and developers who will pay higher taxes to fund the project.

The 7-2 vote paves the way for the county to increase property taxes in Tysons by 7 to 9 cents. Those taxes are expected to raise about $250 million for road construction.

The board considered excluding residential properties from the tax hike but ultimately decided to include them for fear that the General Assembly would not support such an exclusion when it reviews the project.

Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said the board's adoption of the Planning Commission's proposal would "benefit not only Tysons, but the county as a whole" because of the financial benefits redevelopment will bring.

Supervisors Linda Smyth, D-Providence, and Pat Herrity, R-Springfield, voted against the plan, citing concerns about taxing residents and plans to spend money to fund work force housing instead of roads. Supervisor Gerry Hyland, D-Mount Vernon, was not present for the vote.

Twenty-five speakers turned out for the first public comment session since the massive plan to turn Tysons into the county's urban downtown was approved earlier this month.

"This is a nightmare of endless taxation that goes on for 40 years," said Michael Bogasky, president of the Rotonda Condominium Unit Owners Association. He said it was "ridiculous" to create a tax district solely in Tysons when people from across the region would benefit from the new downtown.

"I do expect a tax increase because of the Metro, but not living in Tysons," Tysons resident Lucille Wiener said. "I've read that the people who benefit the most will be taxed the most, but who is benefiting the most? It sure isn't me."

The county's plan will force Tysons developers to pay $1.1 billion for roads and other amenities, such as community centers and ball fields, around the redeveloped site. All county taxpayers will pay the remaining $1.7 billion needed to complete the project.

The county's plan for Tysons redevelopment, approved in 2010, would turn a midsized office park into a massive minicity along Metro's new Silver Line. But the county has been working since then to determine what taxes it would have to raise or impose to fund the project, particularly roads, over the next 40 years.

tholland@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment