As noted yesterday, it’s already been entertaining, re the upcoming Metro-to-Loudoun decision, to see how the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors proposes to get out of this one, given the warring constituencies within the local GOP machine on the issue.
The simplest approach for a politician who is cornered, of course, is simply to lie. A hint of what we can expect a lot more of is being provided by Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) who has now suddenly developed a case of raging amnesia regarding his statement of support for the Metro project when he appeared, during the election campaign, at a candidate forum sponsored by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce (a GOP faction that strongly favors Metro).
Higgins now claims he doesn’t remember ever saying he supported Metro during that event. Next he will no doubt be saying that he doesn’t remember attending a campaign forum at the Chamber at all. (Or that he was ever in Leesburg in his life.)
Meanwhile, although it’s certainly true that there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue when it comes to what you would think is the only question that matters—namely, is this good or bad for our county—the hysterical lies and scare tactics of the anti-Metro forces, fueled by big outside anti-government anti-tax organizations are . . . well, par for the course of the hysterical lies and fear tactics we have come to know and love from the wacko Tea Party right.
One particular bit of mendacity has been their claim that bringing Metro to Loudoun will cost Loudoun taxpayers $200 million a year.
In fact, that figure of about $200 million is the total local net subsidy of all jurisdictions involved. Loudoun’s share is a whopping . . . 4.1% of that, or about $11 million for fiscal year 2018, rising to $14 million by 2025. (See the table below, from the presentation of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to the board last month).
And it also turns out that even if Loudoun supervisors do vote to “opt out,” the county is still on the hook for 2.8% ($7.4 million in 2018 or $9 million in 2025). That’s funding Loudoun is already committed to pay for the Dulles airport station—and cannot get out of.
But, like the truth, facts like these are not likely to play a very significant part in the coming fun. Stay tuned!