I write to express my deep concerns for our Party since you serve as State Chair. I am an active Republican, concerned taxpayer, mother of taxpayers, grandmother of future taxpayers, and wife of a state legislator. I am extremely worried that Republican legislators in Richmond are intent on raising taxes. I would be troubled about such a policy at any time, but in an election year this can only hurt our party.
I recall how angry people became AFTER they found out about the abusive driver fees. I remember how angry people became AFTER they learned that the General Assembly had authored legislation setting up unelected taxing authorities (HB3202). I remember how angry people became AFTER they learned about referenda to raise transportation taxes in Tidewater and Northern Virginia which they defeated handily despite being greatly outspent. Now Republicans have proposed legislation to remove the cap and referenda requirement before imposing local income taxes in Northern Virginia and Tidewater!
I predict the people will again become very angry AFTER they look at their sales receipts and see a 5.8% tax where it used to be 5%. I predict they will become angry AFTER they find they must pay more for their car registration and possible other regional transportation taxes and fees!
As you know, things happen very quickly in Richmond. There is little time for people to digest legislation and weigh in. Often they do not learn about its implications until after the legislation passes and they are directly affected.
I think it is wrong to raise taxes because government must learn to live within its means as families must. But in an election year there will be political consequences. If the Democrats had been in charge and proposed these increases, I believe the Republicans would be complaining. But now that the Republicans are in the majority they cannot place the blame on others. Even if the Democrats do not use the tax increases in “hit pieces,” it will be difficult to motivate the conservative grass roots volunteers to hit the pavement for candidates who voted for tax increases especially when they did not allow a vote on measures that would have used existing revenue to improve transportation.
I am also very concerned that the Republicans have been putting their stamp of approval on Obamacare by approving state exchanges and expanding Medicaid, leaving little to distinquish the parties on Obamacare and again causing mistrust among the conservative base.
I have been involved politically since I was 13, helping my parents work for conservative pro-life candidates in New York. I’m not a political expert but neither am I a neophyte. If there is anything you can do to dissuade our Party leaders from going ahead with these tax hikes, I hope you will act for the good of the party and the good of the Commonwealth. I look forward to hearing from you!
(Delegate Bob Marshall’s wife)
P.S. Nor will this General Assembly have passed any significant legislation protecting the right to life and the right to defend one’s life! This too is extremely disconcerting given that these are First Principles that our Founding Founders recognized!