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1 Arushi Sharma & Joseph Henchman, Virginia Constitution Requires Uniform Distribution of the Metrorail Tax Burden in Fairfax County; FFW Enterprises v. Fairfax County and the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County 1 (2010)

handle is hein.taxfoundation/ffcddxz0001 and id is 1 raw text is: FISCAL

FACT

June 3, 2010
No. 233

Virginia Constitution Requires Uniform
Distribution of the Metrorail Tax Burden
in Fairfax County
FFW Enterprises v. Fairfax County and the Board of
Supervisors of Fairfax County
By Arushi Sharma and Joseph Henchman
Executive Summary
On June 1, 2010, the Tax Foundation filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief with the
Supreme Court of Virginia in the case of FFW Enterprises v. Fairfax County and the Board of
Supervisors of Fairfax County, No. 091883. The case involves the constitutionality of two laws
that impose special taxes on property in Fairfax County to fund Metrorail improvements, but
exempt all residential property from the special taxes.
FFW Enterprises is a commercial property owner in the Tysons Corner region of Northern
Virginia paying two taxes imposed to fund the Washington, D.C. Metrorail extension to Tysons
Corner and Dulles International Airport. FFW claims that the taxes are unconstitutional because
residential property is exempted from paying the tax, while Virginia's Uniformity Clause
requires all property in the taxable area to be uniformly treated as the taxable class. FFW also
argues that some properties cannot be made to disproportionately bear the full burden of a tax for
public benefits when the entire tax district is benefited, citing the Virginia Supreme Court
decision City of Hampton v. Ins. Co. of North America.1
While FFW Enterprises did not prevail in the trial court, the Supreme Court of Virginia has
granted review of the case and will hear FFW Enterprises' challenge. Since the City of Hampton
Arushi Sharma is a law clerk at the Tax Foundation and Joseph Henchman is Tax Counsel and
Director of State Projects.

TA
FOUNDA'ION

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