Monday, February 14, 2011

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

The extremist Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) has just submitted their annual input on the City Budget. The draft FY 2012 Budget is normally finalized in February. My favorite whipping boys have three points on mass transit, and one of them is actually good.

The first two are bad ideas:

1. Suspend all light rail spending until a light rail referendum question has passed.

Blatantly illegal, per Bob Tata's bill that jump-started the process.

2. Freeze payments to Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) at FY 2011 levels.

Even the VBTA acknowledges that would mean bus service cuts. Absurd when Virginia Beach only has Portsmouth-level service now.

However, I had to smile at the third one: allow Virginia Beach businesses to claim a dollar for dollar credit on their BPOL taxes for commuter checks granted to employees who wish to use mass transit to commute to jobs in Virginia Beach. That should boost bus ridership. (Besides, those who know me well know I think the BPOL is the most ridiculous tax in Virginia.)

My only question would be whether the City of Virginia Beach could do it legally under the Dillon Rule. If not, it belongs in next year's Community Legislative Package.


Anonymous said...

Portmsouth has better service than Va Beach! Route 47 (between C&C and the old Churchland Library) is every 30. Va Beach is every 60 (except Va Beach Blvd - I'm guessing Norfolk pays for Blvd service like it does the 45 after 7 PM and on Sundays).

Quick P-Town question: is it possible to adjust the Ferry times so it's at High Street at :15 and :45? Would make it easier for bus - ferry transfers. Now, either you just make it (and break your neck trying to run between), or you just miss it (and have to wait 30 minutes). If buses showed up at :00 and :30 and the ferry :15 and :45, it would be much easier a walk.

Your point still stands, however.

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 8:42,

Take the amount of HRT service Virginia Beach buys, redact the VB Wave, and you essentially have Virginia Beach buying about the same amount of service as Portsmouth. That's despite having more than 4 times the population and a much larger land area.

I brought up the Route 90 - County & Court issue at the last TRAC meeting. (I had been in Portsmouth two days prior.)