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Sustainable and Dedicated Funding for WMATA
In order to provide safe and reliable service, WMATA needs $15.5 billion over the next 10 years for capital improvements. Metrorail, a $40 billion asset, is suffering due to years of deferred maintenance.
Dedicated Federal Investment in WMATA
Funds available through the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) are critical to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) ability to provide safe and reliable service. Without Congressional reauthorization of PRIIA or passage of a substitute measure prior to the end of fiscal year 2018, WMATA stands to lose up to $300 million annually.In order to provide safe and reliable service, WMATA needs $15.5 billion over the next 10 years for capital improvements. Metrorail, a $40 billion asset, is suffering due to years of deferred maintenance.
Action to Avoid Looming Transit Capital Fiscal Cliff
An August 2017 report by a state advisory board outlined four funding packages, each of which would raise $130 million to $140 million annually to cover the state’s share of transit capital expenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The General Assembly requested the report after learning that $110 million in dedicated revenues will begin to phase out in 2019 as Capital Project Revenue (CPR) bonds expire. Failure by the General Assembly to replace the funds will limit the ability of transit systems throughout Virginia to offer safe and reliable service and may result in a loss of federal funding, as transit agencies may no longer be able to provide the required match.
Regional Gas Tax Floor that Matches the State Gas Tax Floor
Northern Virginia jurisdictions continue to lose millions of dollars in gas tax revenues that could be used to meet their Metro subsidies. In fiscal year 2017, the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church missed out on more than $16.9 million, or 37 percent of what they should have received were a a floor in place. The gas tax, which is based on the sales price of fuel, has fluctuated as prices have fallen in recent years. While the state gas tax has protections that maintain a minimum level of revenue, the regional gas tax does not.
Retain Commuter Tax Benefit for Transit
Tax reform legislation pending in both the U.S. House and Senate would repeal a deduction for businesses that provide transit passes as a fringe benefit for their employees. Combined with a reduction in the corporate tax rate, this repeal leaves little incentive for employers to provide transit benefits. The bills leave in place a provision that allows employees to use pretax dollars to pay for transit. The Senate bill would repeal the commuter bicycle benefit.