Every five years, Virginia requires cities and counties to update plans for development – how and where they’ll grow.
Many communities assume growth is good – and some even offer tax breaks to attract new industries and businesses, but a new report by Charlottesville economist David Shreve and planning consultant Craig Evans suggests that’s not the case if new companies hire people from elsewhere.
That’s because new residents increase the demand for public services, such as education, road construction and maintenance, public safety, water systems, sewers and so on.
The passage of Virginia’s transportation-funding bill was not the only change of heart that took place in the General Assembly this session. Another was tackling a growing traffic-safety hazard that did not even exist a generation ago—and making it a primary offense. It not only toughens current state penalties against texting while driving, but it targets similar communications.
The Virginia Senate has voted for a transportation-funding bill that increases the gas tax, removes most of Governor McDonnell’s proposals, and allows Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads to raise extra revenue.