What if the Prince William County Board of Supervisors had the power to enact a local income tax to support additional spending without any voter referendum at all, and that tax could not be repealed at some later date unless some other source of revenue was made available to fund the spending that tax enabled? If you’ve followed what’s going on during this session of the General Assembly, you know we’re in a good position to find that out, if the House doesn’t put a stop to this.
Senator Walter Stotch, in his latest impression of a tax-and-spend liberal disguised as a Republican state senator introduced SB 1313 which proposes to do exactly this. With the support of some of our local Senators on the Democrat side of the aisle, such as Colgan and Barker, and the usual bunch of RINO Republicans elsewhere in the Commonwealth, this atrocity passed the Senate by a vote of 27-11. Just how in the heck are these irresponsible reprobates ever re-elected amidst this kind of utter foolishness?
This bill would make it possible for the BOCS to hike your income taxes by 15-20%. Virginia’s income tax rates, where you hit the top taxation rate after you earn the princely sum of $17,000 a year, is $720 plus 5.75% of ever dollar you make above that limit. For an earner making $50,000 a year, the local tax levy would boost your tax bill from $2,617.50 to $2,947.50 at the same time we are calling this current economic period “the Great Recession.” This is utterly insane.
Previously, if localities in Northern Virginia wanted to impose a local income tax, it would have required a referendum and the tax would automatically sunset after five years. This bill does away with both the requirement for a referendum and the sunset provision, as well as adding a further limitation on ending these taxes.
“…no ordinance levying a local income tax shall be repealed unless and until all debts or other obligations of the county or city to which such revenues are pledged or otherwise committed have been paid or provision made for payment.”
So if the Board of County Supervisors wants to prevent a tax from being repealed, all they have to do is make sure that some project that these revenues are dedicated to have no other means of finance other than the local income tax, and it cannot ever be eliminated. How utterly ridiculous. Given how the BOCS has seemed favorable to tax hikes during the past decade, even in challenging economic times, there’s no reason to think they as a whole wouldn’t jump on this, although there would likely be some vocal opposition within the board.
The only protection we have against this idiocy by the Senate of Virginia lies within the imminent decisions by our members of the House of Delegates, who can kill this terribly awful bill. Delegates Hugo, Marshall, and Anderson all represent Prince William County and sit on the House Finance Committee where this is on the docket, and they’ll have the opportunity to vote against this in committee and urge their colleagues to do the same. It’s definitely worth reaching out to them to let them know how you feel on this.
Delegate Tim Hugo: DelTHugo@house.virginia.gov
Delegate Bob Marshall: DelBMarshall@house.virginia.gov
Delegate Rich Anderson: DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov
Let them know how you feel about this bill. Today.
UPDATE: Delegate Tim Hugo emailed and said he will be voting no on this bill. Make sure and let him know you appreciate him standing up for fiscal responsibility.
UPDATE 2: The bill was defeated on a 7-3 vote in a House Finance subcommittee that is actually headed by Tim Hugo. Looks like he kept his word on this, and then some. Always nice to see an elected official take notice of a potential problem well in advance and take action to head it off.
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