Friday, August 5, 2011

Zimmerman to Use Commercial Real Estate Tax Surcharge to Pay for Pike Streetcar

Hello Yupette,

I belong to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce; and I often attend Chamber events and try to find out what's occurring in the area of economic development.

It appears that Chris Zimmerman will use funds from the 12.5% commercial real estate surcharge (which generates about $40 million in tax revenue for the County every year) to fund the Pike streetcar system. Tax revenue from the commercial real estate tax surcharge is only supposed to be used for new transportation infrastructure.

Zimmerman will defer any new transportation construction (like a new entrance to the Ballston Metro Station) until after the Pike streetcar system is constructed. This will cost $160 million for the 10-14 streetcars and another $50 million or so for Columbia Pike road reconstruction.

Also appears that Zimmerman and the County Board can issue bonds to pay for the Pike streetcar system without having a bond referendum.

This has become common knowledge around the Chamber. So thought I'd pass it along.

Thanks for your blog.


Monday, August 1, 2011

AIM, AVG Greenwash Arlington Residents

Hello Yupette,

I surfed around Arlington Independent Media and the County's PR video network, AVN. It's more than obvious that neither is interested in promoting a truly "green" Arlington but are tied to the County's "greenwashing" PR aimed at preserving the status quo.

So you won't see the most basic renewable energy information, e.g., solar hot water heating.

In other progressive communities you'll see many advertisements for renewable hot water systems, for example, in New York. And in places like Florida, inexpensive solar pool heaters allow outdoor swimming pools to be used almost the entire year.

At this point, it appears that solar hot water heating may or may not be installed at the new Wakefield High School, although there will be two swimming pools constructed there.

Arlington is falling so far behind everyone else when it comes to installing renewable energy it's appalling. With all our wealth we can and should be doing much better. That's why I'm not voting for incumbents on August 23rd and in November.

Denise, 22205