1. How does Virginia’s transportation funding formula benefit Loudoun County and what, if anything, should be done to improve the current process?
There is no single transportation funding “formula”, but the various programs used have been neglecting Loudoun’s needs. The SMART SCALE process for distributing state funds has been rigged by the McAuliffe and Northam administration in a way that results in much of the state funding in NoVa going to transit projects in the inner jurisdictions. They are in clear violation of Legislative intent, and I’ve pushed both administrations to fix it, but they have refused. I’ll keep fighting for adjustments to bring SMART SCALE back to the legislative intent, prioritizing Congestion Mitigation in NoVa. Likewise, the WMATA funding bill diverted significant revenues from the NVTA to the WMATA Capital fund, significantly increasing Loudoun’s share beyond what local officials anticipated when they agreed to Dulles Rail. Loudoun’s commuters are over-tolled; I have introduced many legislation to reform, reduce, and repeal tolls, and will continue doing so.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board will be looking into potential changes to SMART SCALE later this summer, and VDOT is starting a study of ways to reduce tolls on the Dulles Greenway. I will be involved with those initiatives, and based on the results, will introduce legislation to fix these issues in the 2020 session.
2. How would you more effectively align the Commonwealth’s and the County’s sources of revenue with their respective service responsibilities?
I was hopeful that this year’s “conformity” with the Federal tax reform would facilitate broader tax reform discussion, but that did not take place. Going forward, I will continue to advocate for reforms to allow state funds to be spent more effectively. We have directed more state lottery funds where they belong, going to the schools. I have worked to reform transportation funding so Loudoun doesn’t have to fund so many projects on their own; encourage education choice, which would reduce the local tax burden, while decreasing class sizes; use I-66 toll funds for Loudoun buses instead of inner-jurisdiction bike-share and pedestrian projects; reform public assistance to make sure funding is there for those most in need; and look for creative ways to get broadband to rural areas so more residents can do education and work from home, reducing costs and traffic on our roads.
3. With Virginia facing a teacher shortage crisis, what current or future measures will you support that will have an impact on this challenge?
Based on my four years of service on the House Committee on Education, there are a few ideas I would continue to support. I have voted for multiple pay increases for teachers, and this year we passed major initiatives to increase teaching programs in our state and private colleges and universities. We need to stop frustrating teachers with all the teach-to-the-test SOLs, instead allowing them to creatively implement coursework that engages their students and creates thinking and reasoning ability. Making school choice, online learning and homeschooling accessible to more students and families would also help reduce the teacher shortage, reduce class sizes, and lower costs.
4. How can the Commonwealth become a more effective partner in addressing Loudoun’s housing affordability challenge?
I would encourage creative solutions, such as zoning to allow more mobile home parks and other low-cost housing. This is a supply-and-demand situation, but it may help to quit driving up cost of building with exorbitant permit fees. We could look at building codes and environmental regulations that raise costs, but ultimately the seller will charge what the market will bear.
5. Do you support Virginia’s Right To Work laws? Why or why not? If not, what superior solution would you propose?
Yes, I support Virginia’s current Right-To-Work laws. I would prefer that these were Constitutionally protected, to protect against the potential of a liberal General Assembly and Governor repealing this critical protection that helps us maintain our “best state for business” ranking.
6. Please describe what best qualifies you to hold the office you’re seeking.
My experiences in life, and as a long-time small business owner, along with my belief system, have taught me that government which respects individual liberty, economic opportunity through a free market and limited taxes and regulation, holds the best future for its citizens. I am aligned with a Republican party which shares these ideals, as opposed to the crazy, anti-business, socialist-embracing Democrat party, whose tax, energy, and other policies would plunge our economy into a tailspin. I have a track record, in my six years in elected office, of working hard for my constituents, of promises kept, and results delivered. Loudoun’s business community needs a business-friendly legislature, and I and the other Republican candidates we have running are critical to maintaining our GOP majority in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates.
Mavis Taintor (D) did not respond to the questionnaire.
Source: BizVotes Candidates Questionnaire