Emails obtained by Leesburg Today show Dave LaRock voicing opposition to the Dulles Rail extension’s funding plan in 2012, a plan for which he is now taking some of the credit.
LaRock, the Republican candidate for the 33rd House of Delegates seat, has mailed several flyers touting his support for transportation funding and last week sent a press release stating he played a key role in the creation of the tax district that will help pay Loudoun County’s portion of the rail extension.
“For years, a watchdog group I formed has been demanding that Virginia’s transportation funding be spent where it will relieve congestion. This will reduce traffic for commuters and allow farmers and businesses to move their products to market more efficiently,” LaRock stated in a mailer sent to Republican residents last week. “I also led efforts to protect Loudoun taxpayers and toll payers in the Metrorail extension financial plan. The result: Loudoun formed station-area tax districts…”
However, an email from LaRock sent to the Board of Supervisors June 21, 2012, expresses clear opposition to the idea. In the email, he suggests supervisors update revenue forecasts to reflect the “negative effect of the tax penalty” on businesses that “choose not to flee from the Ground Zero/Purple Amoeba/Shawn Williams Memorial Hyper-Tax District Zone.”
LaRock was one of the leading opponents of bringing Dulles Rail into Loudoun County, and is often associated with the massive pink Tax Pig painted with the words “Loudoun Opt Out Now” that was displayed as county supervisors wrestled with whether to fund the project.
In an interview Tuesday, LaRock confirmed he had sent the 2012 email to the supervisors and said the tax district was ultimately the best funding option on the table.
“Of all the alternatives that were put forward, the purple ameba would have proposed far less of a tax burden on the rest of the county and put a good portion of the cost on the rail station developers,” he said. “The reason I can claim some credit is, I believe, if we had not formed the Loudoun Opt Out group, the tax district would probably never have been formed.”
In the interview, LaRock did credit board Vice Chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) with coming up with the proposal.
Supervisors first began considering a tax district around the future Metro stations months before they decided to opt into the Dulles Rail project in July 2012.
When Williams presented the idea in a June 2012 meeting he said, “This tax district is based off the same concept as the Rt. 28 Tax District, where the landowners who would benefit the most do bear the expense.”
LaRock faces Democrat Mary Costello Daniel and Libertarian Patrick Hagerty in Tuesday's election.