Special tax district for Potomac Yard moves forward


The council proceeded with creating a new special tax district in the Potomac Yard neighborhood to help pay for the eventual Metro station, but at least one councilman believes the city should share the burden.

The extra levy, scheduled to begin in 2017 after the station is built, would apply to most of the yet to be developed southern portion of Potomac Yard, according to a council memo. It would not include Potomac Green homeowners, who have protested the idea in the past.

This is the next step in achieving the long held city dream of achieving a Metro station at Potomac yard, said Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks.

The Potomac Yard parcel is the last major undeveloped land in Alexandria. The neighborhoods first homeowners were subject to the levy, but said it was not highlighted when they bought in. This time around it will be very obvious what theyre buying into, Jinks said.

If the debate sounds familiar, thats because it is. The council just adopted a budget without a tax solely on commercial properties to pay for citywide transportation needs. Vice Mayor Kerry Donley and Councilman Frank Fannon said they did not want the hard-fought compromise to be for naught.

When we didnt pass the commercial add-on tax we were basically making as statement that as a community we like sharing things as a whole, Fannon said.

The creation of the district moves forward, but is far from complete. Donley asked for city staff to find some funding elsewhere in the budget, though there is no rush.

We have some time to figure it out until 2017, he said.