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Potomac Yard Metro Site Chosen, Worries Over Tax Hike

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On Wednesday, the Alexandria City Council unanimously selected the location for the upcoming Potomac Yard Metro station, a site just east of the CSX tracks. The location would only be a short walk from the North Potomac Yard shopping center. The location, called Alternative B, will cost the City $268 million and could open as soon as 2018. When compared to Alternative A, Alternative B is much more expensive, but is expected to bring in more jobs and more development. Alternative A would have cost $208 million, and the more expensive option, Alternative D, would have cost $492 million. Alternative B is expected to generate 26,400 jobs and 13 million-square-feet of new development. According to Washington Business Journal, the chosen location will require roughly 7,000-square-feet of George Washington Memorial Parkway easement, which will require Alexandria to pay $12 million parkway-area improvements and require the City to transfer 13.5 acres of parkland to the National Park Service.

To help pay for the Potomac Yard Metro station, the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank granted the City a $50 million loan that will go towards construction. WAMU reported that the details for who will pay for the remaining costs is still up in the air, but residents are already speaking out in fear of a tax hike. If the current tax rate of $1.038 for every $100 of assessed value is raised to $1.238 tax rate for every $100 of assessed value, the City will be able to generate half a million dollars in revenue a year, according to WAMU. Regardless, Alexandria will still be taking on roughly $200 million in debt. For now, City leaders won't make a final decision until contracts are ready to be issued.
[UPDATE: The tax increase would not be citywide, but specific to the Potomac Yard tax district.]
· Potential Tax Increase Adds Tension To Debate Over Potomac Yard Station [WAMU]
· Alexandria City Council picks a Potomac Yard Metro site [Washington Business Journal]
· Alexandria Picks Site for Potomac Yard Metro [Urban Turf]
· Financial Progress on Potomac Yard Metro With $50M Loan [Curbed DC]