Petition to Abolish the Phase 1 Dulles Rail Transportation Improvement District

PETITION
  FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE PHASE I DULLES RAIL
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
AND THE REFUND OF TAXES PREVIOIUSLY COLLECTED
PURSUANT TO THIS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
OF FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIADated March 31, 2008

The undersigned Petitioners, representing themselves and other landowners within the boundaries described in the District referred to above, hereby petition the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County and the District Advisory Board to abolish the District and refund all unexpended and unencumbered Special Tax revenues, pro rata based on the total actual Special Taxes paid by each tax parcel within the District, with interest, if any, to the then current owners of the properties in the District for which the Special Tax had been paid in the preceding tax year.

Language supporting this abolishment and refund procedure is contained in Section 4 (e) of the original Petition enabling the District, dated February 23, 2004.

The reason that such abolition and refund is mandatory can be found in the original Petition dated February 23, 2004.

1)       It is not true, as stated in Section 4 (d) of the original Petition, that “it is reasonably anticipated that Fairfax County’s share of the Aggregate Cost of all phases of the transportation improvements needed to extend a public mass transit system from the existing Orange Line to west of Dulles Airport…. including such transportation improvements located outside the District as well as within the District, would remain consistent with the current understanding of the anticipated contributions from the various funding sources, i.e., approximately 24.6% of the Aggregate Costs of the Phase I Transportation Improvements would be contributed by the Special Tax revenues of the District….”

In fact, the lowest estimated cost of the Phase I improvements is currently $2.5 billion. 24.6% of this figure is $615,000,000, which exceeds the $400 million planned contribution of the District referred to earlier in Section 4 (d). The Federal Transit Administration has expressed doubt about the accuracy of the $2.5 figure, claiming that the real cost could be considerably higher.

Accordingly, the financing scheme promised to the signatories of the original Petition is impossible and this condition precedent to the establishment and operation of the District has failed.

2)       It is not true that a Full Funding Grant Agreement as described in 49 U.S>C. S. 5309 (a “Full Funding Grant Agreement”) or similar federal funding commitment for the Phase I Transportation Improvements has been executed by December 31, 2006, as required by Section 4 (e). Not only has there been no Full Funding Grant Agreement, but the federal government has not even approved entry into Final Design, which must precede any subsequent decision on a Full Funding Grant Agreement.

Accordingly, the financing scheme promised to the signatories of the original Petition has failed, and this condition precedent to the establishment and operation of the District has failed.

For the reasons stated above, the Board has no authority to continue the collection of  the special tax described in Section 4 (g), has no authority to continue the operation of the District, and must refund taxes collected to date, in the manner described in the first paragraph of this Petition (which quotes from Section 4 (e) of the original Petition.)

As occurred recently with the required refunds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, the Board and the Commission must establish a system to promptly refund the money (currently residing in Fund 121 at Fairfax County), and remove all landowners affected from the obligation to contribute further to this Fund.

Respectfully submitted this 31st day of March, 2008,

Dulles Corridor Users Group
A Virginia Nonstock Corporation
_______________________________
By Christopher W. Walker, Pres.

LOWER
(Landowners Opposed to Wasteful Expenditures on Rail)
A Virginia Nonstock Corporation
_______________________________
By Christopher W. Walker, Pres.

Parkridge 6, LLC
A Virginia LLC
Landowner in the Tax District which has been taxed by the District continuously since the collection started in July, 2004
______________________________
By Christopher W. Walker, Managing Member

WFLP-H, LLC
A Virginia LLC
Landowner in the Tax District which has been taxed since its creation by subdivision.
_______________________________
By Christopher W. Walker, Managing Member

Petition to Abolish the Phase 1 Dulles Rail Transportation Improvement District