WANADA attends Capital Business Forum with area leaders

WANADA attends Capital Business Forum with area leaders

WANADA representatives attended the Capital Region Business Forum recently with the top state-level executives from the three Washington area jurisdictions: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. WANADA representatives were among a big crowd of business executives and civic leaders at the meeting.

After the joint meeting at the Washington Hilton, Bowser, Hogan and McAuliffe met privately and heard a presentation about the future of Metro and discussed possible sources of funding. DC Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt offered three funding options: a regionwide 1-cent sales tax, an annual increase in rider revenue of 13.5 percent, or an annual increase of 8.2 percent in subsidies from the three jurisdictions.

Hogan has made it clear he will not support a sales tax, and the other two options appear unrealistic. Itês Catch-22: No one wants to give more money to Metro until safety and scheduling problems are improved, and those cannot improve without more money. DeWitt said economic growth in the region would likely slow without more funding for Metro.

In the public part of the forum, the three leaders discussed cooperative efforts to bolster the regional economy. Other than transportation, topics included economic development and diversifying the regional economy, and the outlook for growth and cross-border cooperation. Each of the chief executives has called for a renewed focus on job creation and new company formation.

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