Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Will major property tax increases be coming to Reston with TOD development?

Reston 2020 and the Reston Citizens Association have watched the Tysons tax service district negotiations unfold over the last couple of years, believing that what happens in Tysons in terms of financing the hugely ambitious (OK, grandiose) plans for urbanizing that area would happen here in Reston as plans for TOD development around its new Metrorail stations were finalized.

As the Tysons tax debate heated up, the RCA Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting the McLean Citizens Association in its effort to have developers pay for most of the needed infrastructure development there because, in the end, they will be the only ones to profit from it.  It also testified to the Board in support of the MCA in making infrastructure financing at Tysons equitable.  By in large that has occurred, but as the Tyson Patch article below reports, Tysons residents will see a significant increase in their tax rate as well--in part because Virginia law precludes different rates for different classes of property owners in a given area.

The issue is not so much whether, but how, such a tax template might be imposed on Reston by the Board of Supervisors.  As we know, the BOS has not hesitated in making Reston pay for its own Community Center (Small Tax District #5--STD#5)--the only other such county arrangement for a community center being in McLean where the special tax rate is half the $.0473 per $100 assessed valuation extra paid by Restonians.  And now, of course, The Reston Community Center is proposing to build a $50 million Recreation Center at Baron Cameron Park, which will almost certainly add to the STD#5 tax.

So, will the Board decide that STD#5--taxing all properties in Reston, commercial and residential--is a good enough way to handle the costs of the multi-billion dollar infrastructure--the three new corridor crossings are estimated at a half-billion dollars alone--that will be needed for Reston's TOD areas in the next 20-30 years?

Or will it create a special tax service district just covering the TOD areas (the Reston Task Force Phase 1 study area) that would see an even higher tax rate increase?

Or will the Board come  up with some other way to tax Restonians?

None of this has been discussed officially yet, but there is not doubt that such conversations are going on in the halls of the Fairfax Taj Mahal.

So here's what's happening at Tysons:

Tysons Tax District: Board to Advertise Tax Rate

Residents in the newly-created Tysons District could pay anywhere from $312 to $720 more in taxes, on top of the proposed countywide real estate hike. 

By William Callahan
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are expected to advertise a number of proposed tax increases for FY2014 during its meeting Tuesday, kicking off the public hearing and community input process ahead of final approval in April.
The hit for Tysons residents is expected to be larger than usual this year, thanks to a newly-formed Tysons Tax District.
The district, which hikes property taxes on both residents and developers, will help fund billions of dollars in transportation infrastructure over the next 40 years, moving the area closer to becoming the county’s new urban downtown center. . . .
Click here for the rest of this article.

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