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Northern Virginia Leaders Oppose Devolution

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Leaders from both parties in Northern Virginia agree against the use of devolution to help fund transportation in Virginia.
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Leaders from both parties in Northern Virginia agree against the use of devolution to help fund transportation in Virginia.

Many residents have never heard of "devolution" before, unless they're a transportation or legislative wonk. The term means to have counties and cities take over maintenance of secondary roads. Right now the Virginia Department of Transportation has much of that responsibility.

Prince William County Board of Supervisor Corey Stewart, a Republican, says if the Governor and General Assembly push this idea through, it's local taxpayers that would suffer.

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

Fairfax County District Supervisor Jeff McKay, a Democrat, says Fairfax would likely do a better job in 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," says McKay.

But both Stewart and McKay say they fear the state's General Assembly could push the idea on cities and counties, no matter what local leaders have to say about it.

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