Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

Our region's Delegates are discussing a new roads plan for Hampton Roads, and it looks very much like what 62% of us voted "No" on in 2002

6 of the 7 projects from 2002, coupled with the same financing mechanism - a 1% regional Sales Tax. Is the Hampton Roads Delegation that arrogant or that stupid? Or both? You can't Xerox the 2002 Plan without a voter backlash! The atrocious part is that the transit funding from the 2002 proposal has been dropped. The good news is that it's not being run through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC). If you understood what that was really about, you understood the 2002 Plan had little to do with Transportation.

Okay, so what would I do? Essentially go back to where Senator Harry Blevins bill (SB 176) proposed to take us:

1. Keep the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority (HRTA).

I may be one of the few who actually likes the HRTA. However, if we're going to have regional taxing for Transportation, we should have a regional board for administering those funds.

2. Revise the tax and fee package.

The group struck down by the Virginia Supreme Court was a mess. That's what SB 176 sought to fix. The bill was the proposal from the HRTA itself.

I hope when Wednesday's paper arrives in a few hours that I'm not staring at the 2002 Plan all over again.

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