Referendums are self-serving for the whims of politicians - not will of the people

Dear Editor:

By referendum, if a majority of the voters vote YES to the Transportation Question on November 5, a Commonwealth of Virginia law will be enacted providing for a penny per dollar increase in the state sales tax in the Tidewater area and something similar in the Northern Virginia Region.

This is a decision by the state legislators to sluff off an increase in taxes on the voters, a decision which should have been made by the legislators themselves.  Why?  Because legislators did not want  to the make the politically unpopular decision to raise taxes.  In other words legislators abandoned the Dillon Rule by which they are to make all decisions affecting localities, especially a change in taxes.  When citizens initiate a referendum question by enormous effort,. legislators  stick to that Dillon Rule and ignore the citizens' wishes.  

Such was the case when the citizens of Virginia Beach  initiated a referendum a few years ago to equalize the population of city council districts and elect councilpersons by district.  The citizens referendum received 53% of the vote, but the state legislature skewed the question and made them vote over.  If the Tax Referendum November 5 receives only 51% of the vote it will be declared a great victory and will certainly become law.

The Park Only at 31st Street is much the same thing.  A citizen initiated referendum which received 58% of the vote is ignored.  Why should citizens vote YES for the state's referendum when the governing bodies ignore their, the citizens, successful referenda?  Citizens of Virginia Beach vote NO to the  Transportation Tax Referendum.

Maurice B. Jackson - VB