- Seeks return of funding cut over last five years
- Asks for dedicated, new revenue of $1 billion statewide in road and transit funding
- Public invited to comment through November 30
ARLINGTON, Va – The Arlington County Board today held a public hearing on its proposed legislative package for the 2013 General Assembly Legislative session. The 2013 package focuses on seeking the restoration of state funding cuts to localities and increasing transportation funding.
“The health of the Commonwealth's economy is tied to that of the localities',” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “If the localities are doing well, the state will do well.”
The Board will vote on its legislative package at its December meeting, after hearing from the public. Through Friday, Nov. 30, the public is invited to submit written comments on the package to the County Board, or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2013 General Assembly session begins Jan. 9, 2013 and is scheduled to end Feb. 23.
Among the highlights of Arlington County's proposed 2013 General Assembly Legislative Package:
- Fully restore state aid to localities funding– between FY 2008 and FY 2013, the state cut $7.2 million in funding to critical services in the County to help balance the state' budget. Cuts in state aid have reduced funding to the Public Library, the Courts, the police department, the Dept. of Human Services, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office, the Arlington County Sheriff's Office and other services.
- Increase transportation funding with new, permanent and reliable sources: There is a critical need for increased funding for transit capital, operations and maintenance. Arlington joins jurisdictions along the I-95 and I-64 corridors in supporting a substantial increase in dedicated funding for roads and transit from new, sustainable sources. Arlington will advocate for at least $1 billion annually to support maintenance and continued operations of Virginia's existing road and transit infrastructure.
- Require on-line travel companies to collect and remit all state sales and local transient occupancy taxes. Currently on-line travel companies, such as Expedia, Orbitz or Hotel.com, buy rooms from hotels, then resell them at a higher rate. They are remitting taxes to the state and localities at the wholesale rate they have paid the hotels,not the retail rate that they sold on-line. Arlington County, and other localities, are urging the General Assembly to adopt language that would require these on-line travel companies to pay the full amount of sales and use taxes to the state and local governments and Transient Occupancy Taxes to the localities.
- Ensure that the state provide adequate resources to support individuals leaving Virginia Training Centers under the Justice Dept. settlement. Arlington expects to need to provide for 23 individuals with severe mental and physical disabilities who will be discharged from the Northern Virginia Training Center by June 30, 2015.
- Housing – Support additional funds for the state Housing Trust Fund that was established in the 2012 budget with one-time money.
- Immigration – Oppose any state mandates to localities requiring local law enforcement officers to evaluate the immigration status of individuals.
- The Board also is proposing priorities for energy and the environment, civil rights, public safety and human services. To read the details of the proposed 2013 legislative priorities package, visit the County website. Scroll down to item # 31 on the Agenda for the Nov. 17 2012 Regular County Board Meeting.