By Michael Pope
City leaders in Alexandria have considered raising the commercial property tax rate to fund transportation projects a few times, but in each case the business community strongly opposed the idea and City Council members backed down. But Chamber of Commerce legislative director Andrew Palmeari says it's still an open question.
"I don't know if the businesses of the city of Alexandria have the stomach for that yet," says Palmeari.
Now city leaders have a new strategy, putting together a list of major transportation projects along transit corridors that could be funded by the add-on tax. Vice Mayor Kerry Donley.
"We've got transportation projects that we want to fund, but we don't want to raise taxes. Well, you know, I've yet to find a pothole that gets filled with a budget cut, and I've yet to find a rail line that doesn't get funded without dollars," says Donley.
Business leaders say that they are open to a potential tax increase if improvements go beyond bike racks and a few new trolleys.