Recent FAMPO Policy Committee Discussion Topic - Regional Transportation Authority
At the May 15th Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (FAMPO) Policy Committee meeting, FAMPO staff presented an informational brief on ideas to generate tax revenue to leverage when FAMPO submits regional transportation projects through the state-administered SMART SCALE process. A Regional Transportation Authority was one idea. Similar Authorities have been used in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads which has helped them to gain more state funds to complete regional transportation projects. The presentation can be found on the May Agenda under item 7. J. Regional Transportation Authority Discussion.
To establish an authority at least two localities would need to join together and traditionally this is done through voter referendum. There are different ways that additional tax revenue could be collected to support the Authority. The presentation shows ways in which Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads collect their revenue.
The FAMPO Policy Committee had a brief discussion on this topic on May 15th with a plan to bring it back for a deeper discussion at the June 19th meeting. I would need some additional information on this topic, but based on the initial presentation and the gridlock that encompasses the greater Fredericksburg area, I believe this idea is worth considering. However, the methods of how the tax revenue is collected, how much revenue, and what would be the mechanism to spend it are all unanswered questions. If such revenue focused on supplementing local road funding it would increase my openness to this policy initiative. However, if this was intended to fix transportation issues on major roads such as I-95, then I would be less inclined to support it.
Click here to read a Free Lance Star article on the decline of regional gas tax revenue.
Click here to read a Free Lance Star article about a proposed regional gas tax.
Click here to read a Free Lance Star article about a local transportation forum that discussed the Regional Transportation Authority.
Come provide your thoughts or listen to the discussion on June 19th.