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Fairfax Board Approves Silver Line Bonds

The $54 million in bonds to help pay for Fairfax County's $465 million bill for project's Phase I.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized the final sale of $54 million in bonds Tuesday that will help pay for the first phase of the Dulles Metrorail project.

The bonds, sold through the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, help complete the Dulles Phase 1 Tax District’s $400 million obligation for the first part of the Silver Line.

The Phase 1 Tax District was created in 2004 to help foot Fairfax County's $467 million bill for the first half of the project.

Landowners in the district voluntarily pay a rate of 22 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Tax revenue collected from the tax district since 2005 totals $94 million; bonds sold in 2011 brought in $220 million. That funding, along with this recent bond sale and future tax collected from the district, will round out the district's $400 million obligation for the first phase, county officials said Tuesday.

The Phase 1 district is one of two special tax districts that will pay for 80 percent—$730 million—of the $900 to $965 million price tag for both phases of Silver Line construction.

The Phase 2 tax district will contribute $330 million, county officials said.

Phase 2 received the green light earlier this year and will run from Wiehle Avenue in Reston to Dulles International Airport and beyond to Route 772 in Loudoun County. Phase 1—which runs from Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue—is currently under construction and could be completed by early 2014.

Rob Whitfield September 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Bill, the $730 million Fairfax County rail tax distict "price tag" is not the total County share of Dulles Rail project capital costs. Over 50% of total costs are being paid by Dulles Toll Road users, a majority who live in Fairfax County. Financially "gerrymandered" other costs are not detailed, including the $100 million Wiehle Avenue parking garage plus proposed Phase 2 garages and Route 28 station. Then there are the $$ billions in projected operating subisidies for the Silver Line that will be required in coming years. Guess who WMATA thinks is going to pay those bills? Certainly not Metrorail riders, over 40% of whom during peak periods are federal workers, who did not want to pay a 20 cent "peak of the peak" fare surcharge and so the extra surcharge was dropped
Bob Bruhns September 15, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Those two parking garages and the Rt 28 station will cost Fairfax County $236 million, according to MWAA. This price breaks down to $101 million for the Rt 28 station, and $135 million for the parking garages. MWAA will contract and build the rail station, and Fairfax County will pay for it. Fairfax County may be able to arrange some deal to build the parking garages. Our Rt 28 Metro station will cost $101 million - but posh, wealthy Fairfield, Connecticut built a comparable Metro station for $40 to $45 million. Why does our Metro station cost over two times as much? MWAA estimates $34,015 per space for these above-ground parking garages - but above-ground parking garages around Dulles, VA should cost no more than $17,000 per space. Nearby Herndon, Virginia expects to pay $15,000 per space for its municipal parking garage. Why do these Metro parking garages cost two times as much, or more? The full Phase II job cost estimate is about two times what the job should cost, compared to previous jobs in the DC Metro system, adjusted for inflation. One Fairfax County spokesman, who can see the line item prices for the Silver Line job, says that the Phase I item prices were 73% to 100% of the most recent Phase II item price estimates that were released on March 6, 2012. So Phase I prices were pretty high too! Citizens are not allowed to see the line-item prices - they are redacted from the documents that are released to the public. Maybe there is a reason for that!

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