In the eight years that Del. Dick Black has represented the 32nd district, that great slice of Loudoun real estate has seen incredible growth with thousands of new homes and tens of thousands of new residents. But it's been hampered by the same old politics.
Northern Virginia, the economic engine for the commonwealth, generates the bulk of the state's revenue through income taxes and sales taxes. Yet, only 29.5 cents (the high-end estimate) of every $1 in tax sent to Richmond is returned to help pay for services here.
Congestion already is costing us in quality of life — life spent in longer commutes instead of being at home with family — and it's costing us in property taxes. After all, more houses require more schools and public services that in turn require more property taxes to pay for them.
That's a great formula for Richmond. Collect the benefits of the region's economy, but stick Northern Virginia localities with all of the expense.
Loudoun's state legislators should be grappling with ways to empower counties working with developers with such wonkish ideas as adequate facilities impact fees. Legislators should be looking to solve counties' over-reliance on property taxes, explore how cities' and towns' broader tax bases relieve homeowners. Legislators who really wanted to go beyond lip service to senior citizens being taxed out of their homes should figure out how to calculate meaningful "property tax circuit breakers."
These all sound dull and boring, but could make a significant difference in residents' lives.
It requires a legislator who's willing to get involved in those details, who still believes that government should try to make things better — as opposed to a government that has given up.
Will challenger David Poisson wrest more local control for Loudoun away from Richmond? Unlike the incumbent, at least he will try.