bureaucracy behind the 22% tax hike campaign and its fallacies
by Roger &
In television and radio ads, the Yes Campaign promotes itself as
"the campaign to reduce congestion." On the surface, that
sounds like a good idea and a noble cause. We would all like to see
congestion reduced. However, the simplicity of their campaign slogan is
in stark contrast to reality. Before voting to raise sales taxes for the
next three generations, many questions need to be answered. Two of the
most important questions are:
1. Who is behind the Yes Campaign?
An un-elected agency called the Hampton Roads Planning District
Commission (HRPDC) is the entity directly behind the Yes Campaign. This
is a group dedicated to the "regionalization" of Hampton
Roads. By their own admission, they desire to merge us all into one
great big taxpaying metropolis. This group backed a similar referendum
in 1998 that would have given themselves regional taxing authority.
Since they were unable to acquire that authority in 1998, they have put
together a wish list containing $7 billion dollars worth of projects
that they would like for you and me to pay for. They have never built
one road, yet they will be given $7 billion dollars of your tax money to
practice. If VDOT, who has been building roads for decades, cannot
manage efficiently, what makes these folks think they can?
2. Is this really about relieving congestion?
Under the guise of reducing congestion, the HRPDC has proposed the
building of the so-called "Third Crossing" that will connect
the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel to Craney Island and then on to the
Norfolk International Terminals. It is projected to cost the taxpayers
more than $4 billion dollars. If congestion were the real problem, two
more tubes on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel could be built for less
than $1 billion dollars! Why then are they pushing the Craney Island
route? It seems there are big plans for Craney Island. Could the real
motive be a vast expansion of the Port Authority, an agency that is
already a recipient of millions of taxpayer dollars. Maybe that is why
the shipping industry has donated $100,000 dollars to the Yes Campaign.
The proposed Southeastern Expressway is another questionable congestion
reliever. This 19-mile highway through Chesapeake farmland will have
seven interchanges. This is purely about growth and development, and
they literally want us to pave the way! Is it any wonder that the
bankers and developers have also donated tens of thousands of dollars to
the Yes Campaign?
Then there is the proposed Route 460 expansion, a super highway to
nowhere. This new road will bring harried drivers straight into
beautiful downtown Zuni. Isle of Wight County, as well as Chesapeake,
will become another developers dream.
How will the Virginia Peninsula fare from all of this? We will be hosts
to an enormous fleet of tractor-trailers barreling their way to the
newly expanded port in Norfolk. We will also have our very own HOV lane
to New Kent County. This will be a continuation of the rarely used HOV
lane we already enjoy.
We are not opposed to the idea of growth and development, nor are we
opposed to expanding our port system. However, we are opposed to the
deceit employed by the Yes Campaign to raise taxes! We do not believe
the taxpayers bear the responsibility of financing these projects that
seem to be designed to bankroll private enterprise. We are opposed to a
new layer of un-elected regional government bureaucrats spending our tax
money. Furthermore, we are opposed to legislators who refuse to make the
tough budget decisions in Richmond and instead, ask us to "tax
ourselves." We resent the attempt by our elected officials to
scare, shame, and threaten us into a decision where there are only two
choices, yes or no, all or nothing (literally their way or no highway).
Lastly, we resent the voting public being patronized and treated like
children who are not mature enough to be trusted with the truth. The
more information that comes out exposing the particulars of this plan,
the more suspect it becomes.
The Yes Campaign is determined to win this battle by spending $1.5
million dollars on a slick advertising campaign designed to convince an
unsuspecting public to raise taxes on themselves. This is actually a
litmus test to see if the people of Virginia will stomach even more tax
increases in the upcoming General Assembly session. There is already a
plan to increase the sales tax another 1/2 percent for education, and
there will also be a proposed "sin" tax. Don't give Governor
Warner and the General Assembly the mandate they are looking for to
justify more and more taxes.
We need your help! Please help the kNOw campaign tell it like it is! (1)
Pass this information on to your friends and neighbors. (2) Come to the
"No Tax Hike" Pancake Supper on Oct.14th and bring your
friends out for some "food for thought." It will be held at
the American Legion Post 368 in the Denbigh section of Newport News and
begins at 6:30 p.m. The cost is only $5 for adults and $2 for children
under 10. Delegate Tom Gear from Hampton will be the emcee and features
newly elected Senator Ken Cuccinelli and Delegate Johnny Joannou. For
reservations reply to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-827-6510.