Your View: Need for transit necessitates tax

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To the editor:
    
I am writing in response to the letter to the editor, Donleys ideas are taxing, (January 27, 2011). In contrast to the author, I support Vice Mayor Kerry Donleys efforts to modernize Alexandrias transportation network. I agree with him that our economy depends on moving people rather than cars and further assert that our local businesses depend on those people to stop and shop. Studies show that people on transit are more likely to shop than people in cars.
    
The reality is market forces are pushing Alexandria towards a greater need for transit. Young people are prioritizing smart phones over car payments, older Alexandrians are aging in place and need alternatives to driving, and people of all ages are looking for ways to build exercise into their daily lives. A modern transit network, supported by a robust pedestrian and bicycle network, addresses all of these needs.
    
In the United States, driving has recently decreased for the first time in our history. The old model for funding transportation gas taxes is broken and hasnt kept pace with expenses. Property taxes and other general fund revenues have made up the rest. Donleys approach a local tax on businesses spent on local transportation and controlled by our city council will be better for Alexandria. Control of our tax dollars will be with us instead of Richmond and the tax burden in Alexandria will remain the lowest in Northern Virginia. 
    
As a resident of Alexandria, I support Donleys efforts to modernize our city because it is the right choice for the future.

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