Scroll below the text to view video clips of TPB Chairman Todd Turner and TPB Member Kerry Donley discussing transportation funding on NewsTalk with Bruce Depuyt.
Washington, D.C. – At its December meeting, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) voted unanimously to approve a letter to the legislatures and chief executives of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia in support of increased funding for transportation.
The approved letter outlines several options for how states and localities can go about raising increased revenue for transportation. Drawing on successful efforts in other parts of the country, the list of potential solutions includes indexing and/or raising fuel taxes, additional toll roads, sales taxes, and local option taxes, among others.
Kerry Donley, TPB member and Alexandria Vice Mayor applauded the TPB’s readiness to identify specific funding options. “It’s refreshing to see specific proposals included in this letter,” said Donley. “So often you hear groups offering general calls for more transportation funding, but they don’t do the hard part of pointing out what the options are.”
Recent analysis by the TPB reveals that one of the most pressing long-term challenges for transportation in metropolitan Washington is the need for additional revenues, both to ensure the region’s existing highway and transit networks are adequately maintained and to fund increases in capacity to support future population and employment growth. Metropolitan Washington is projected to add over 1.3 million new residents and 1.1 million new jobs by 2040. The region’s already crowded Metrorail cars, buses, and highways will not stand up to the challenge presented by this growth.
TPB members did note that their support for enabling jurisdictions to augment state and federal transportation funding with local revenue sources – such as local option taxes and sales taxes – is not meant to let states “off the hook” for their responsibility.
“States still have the primary responsibility for funding transportation and it’s clear that Virginia has not done enough so far,” said David Snyder, TPB member and Falls Church Vice Mayor. “Inaction by the states has contributed to our region’s congestion and maintenance problems.”
Donley concurred with Snyder, saying that “our local governments have done their share. It’s time for the states to do so as well.”