Virginia Republicans Pass $6 Billion Tax Increase
So here we are and the Republican Party has blown it again! This time it’s the State of Virginia. Establishment Republicans (8 Republican senators, and 34 Republican members of the House of Delegates) voted and passed the largest tax increase in the entire history of the Commonwealth. Gov McDonnell hasn’t signed the bill into law just yet but he is expected to do so as he was one of the primary proponents of the legislation.
Below is the list of establishment GOP’ers (gophers) who voted for this appalling piece of legislation:
House of Delegates: Dave Albo (42), John Cosgrove (78), Kirk Cox (66), Mark Dudenhefer (2), Jim Edmunds (60), Tag Greason (32), Chris Head (17), Gordon Helsel (91), Keith Hodges (98), Sal Iaquinto (84)*, Riley Ingram (62), Chris Jones (76), Terry Kilgore (1), Barry Knight (81), Jim LeMunyon (67), Manny Loupassi (68), Joe May (33), Donald Merricks (16), Randy Minchew (10), Richard Morris (64), John O’Bannon (73), Bobby Orrock (54), Charles Poindexter (9), Bob Purkey (82), Lacey Putney (I, declared R if running for re-election – 19), Tom Rust (86), Ed Scott (30), Beverly Sherwood (29), Chris Stolle (83), Ron Villanueva (21), Michael Watson (93), David Yancey (94), Joseph Yost (12), Speaker Howell (28)
State Senate: Harry Blevins (14), Bill Carrico (40), Jeff McWaters (8), Tommy Norment (3), Frank Ruff (15), Walter Stosch (12), Frank Wagner (7), John Watkins (10).
Perhaps the GOP’ers should find a hole in the ground to hide their faces. Of course the GOP wasn’t alone in passing this legislative “train wreck” as it was heavily supported by Virginia Democrats as well (no surprise there). Democratic candidate for Governor, Terry McAuliffe is also a big supporter of the bill.
However… Apparently not every elected official lost all sense of rational thought when considering this bill. Senator Chap Peterson (a Democrat), in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, said that the $6 billion tax increase is “a grotesque combination of tax cuts, tax rebates, tax increases, new taxes, old taxes which are phased out (and then reappear elsewhere), regional alliances . . . special projects, and exceptions to all of the above.”
So what are they planning on hitting Virginians with? Below is a brief rundown:
- statewide sales tax will rise from 5 percent to 5.3 percent (except on food)
- car-titling tax will rise from 3 percent to 4.3 percent
- adding a 6 percent tax to diesel fuel
- charging hybrid drivers an extra $100 per year
- proposed sales tax on internet transactions (dependent on how Congress votes on the Marketplace Equity Act which would allow states to impose and internet sales tax) If that doesn’t go through sales tax on fuel will increase another 1.7%
- Regional taxing authorities are created for Northern Virginia (NoVA) and Hampton Roads (HR) regions to assess additional taxes to fund transportation projects in their regions. For both there will be an additional .7% increase in sales tax on top of the statewide .3%
- NoVA will add a 3% hotel tax and .25% deed recording tax on the sale of homes
- HR will add a 2.1% local tax on fuel. (all HR funds to be spent on roads – no mass transit)
- for HR there is NO allocation of state funding for the Midtown/Downtown tunnel projects. Those will have to be funded through taxes raised by the new regional taxing authority according to the authors of the bill. (even as VDOT diverts $1.12 billion of state and federal funds to the unnecessary Route 460 over the objections of many in the region)
- Additionally, the bill also opened the door to transportation projects having access to general-fund revenues, whereas they previously had been restricted to funds generated by the gasoline tax and other dedicated-purpose taxes.
For HR and NoVA, now that they have their own money, I doubt the state will never feel any obligation to provide assistance for capital projects, even though HR and NoVA pay the same taxes that the rest of the state pays towards the overall piggy bank.
With legislation like this it is obvious that the Virginia GOP’ers have lost it… or maybe they just switched sides. They now seem to be FULLY complicit with the Democrats. Do we even have two parties anymore? To all of my Libertarian and conservative friends who were/are hoping to reinvigorate and revive the GOP… Wake UP! It ain’t happenin! Don’t waste your time reinforcing failure.
GOP = Lost Cause
When you put forward candidates who claim to be conservative yet are nearly identical to their Democrat/Progressive opponents, well… what do you expect. The GOP establishment continues to go to great lengths to raise taxes, beef up big government and alienate conservatives and liberty activists all across the state who have again and again worked and contributed to the Republican election efforts. With an ongoing track record like that I find it harder and harder to distinguish them from their Democrat opponents.
It’s time to get off the Republican bandwagon NOW… this cycle. The GOP has truly lost touch with the voting public and with fiascoes like this they are quickly losing their relevance as well.
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Copyright © 2013 Thom Ayres
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