Thursday, March 13, 2008

Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Regional Taxing Authority

Last week, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the unelected, regional taxing authorities which the legislature imposed by HB 3202, were in fact, unconstitutional.

The ruling prevents the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority from imposing taxes on citizens.

Under HB 3202, which was passed last year, both Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads would have been able to raise taxes for transportation.

The authority would be made up of appointed members. Granted the Authority may have been made up of some good and wise people, but still unelected.

In what must have been an easy decision, the state Supreme Court simply recited the state constitution, which says,

"No bill which imposes a tax shall be passed except by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members elected to each house, the name of each member being recorded in the Journal"

As a resident of Tyson’s Corner, I can certainly understand Northern Virginia’s frustration with the gridlock. Everyday I deal with the creeping pace to and from work.

However, unelected regional boards with the power to tax is not the answer. We need a comprehensive statewide solution to congestion.

Our elected Delegates must take the responsibility for setting public policy, and not an unelected regional body.

Virginia does not need regional taxes; in fact we don’t need to raise a single tax to solve our transportation problems. I believe that the money we already send to Richmond is sufficient!

Rather than passing the buck our legislature should appropriate the necessary funds to improve transportation out of the money the state already collects.

No comments: