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Northern Virginia Leaders Oppose 'Devolution'

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The debate over how to fund transportation needs in Virginia seems to be never-ending, but there's one idea gaining steam in Richmond that has both Republicans and Democrats in Northern Virginia worried: it's called "devolution."

Devolution is the term for having counties and cities take over maintenance of secondary roads. Right now VDOT has much of that responsibility. Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart, a Republican, says if the governor and general assembly push it through, it's local taxpayers that will suffer.

"It will cause a massive tax increase all over Northern Virginia, not just Prince William, but also Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria," says Stewart.

Fairfax County Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay says Fairfax could likely do a better job than the state's Department of Transportation, but not without new revenue.

"If it devolves to local government, with the funding scheme that's in place today, we simply don't have the money to do it," McKay says.

But both Stewart and McKay say they fear the Virginias general assembly could push the idea through no matter what local leaders have to say about it.


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