Poor government management caused
state to seek more taxes
My pleasure to see that opponents of the above proposal have been given
space in the letters pages of the local papers arises partly in that
others may be influenced and partly to know that others have the same
The greatest fallacy in most of the "YES" (for the tax increase)
position is the same as the opposition to the elimination of the car tax.
In neither case was it really an "either ? or proposition, the people
did not want the car tax. No rational person thought that taxes as a whole
would be greatly decreased. But the General Assembly and big government
advocates ? ' failed to substitute other revenue sources or trim spending.
The same failure or refusal to act is again being applied in what I view
as a disingenuous way to the discussion of the present issue.
If the Road Tax/Sales Tax referendum fails on November 5th the world will
not end nor will traffic come to a halt. The General Assembly will convene
as scheduled in January 2003. At that time the Members can use their
plenary power and resources to come up with a solution to the
transportation needs of the Commonwealth in conjunction with and in
relation to all of the other needs of government. This can include budget
cuts and/or tax increases. That is the job for which they volunteered, for
which they accept the compensation offered for their time and effort. The
result is called a biennial budget.
The YES pro tax position has many negative aspects:
1. This is a step through the back door toward regional government (and
this one un-elected) which the people have rejected.
2. This represents the start of de facto repeal of the "Dillon
Rule"' even though the General Assembly may not now think so.
3. This will give the General Assembly and the Governor what I call a
moral or psychological pass to immediately propose additional taxes or tax
increases. They will say, in effect, that if the need is great then the
people are for it. And as representatives of the people they are certain
they know what the people want. They will respond to those who object that
parts of the Commonwealth has just had a 22% sales tax increase by saying
that " the people voted for it but there are other pressing needs'.
The result for us will be a 6% sales tax by July 1, 2004 at the latest.
4. We do not need to be Balkanized into the sub-states of Northern
Virginia, Tidewater Virginia, Central Virginia, Southside Virginia and
Southwest Virginia. Differential taxation will lead to more intrastate
inefficient asset deployment, tax driven business development and urban
5. No tax is ever "temporary". After the moaning and bleating
and fear mongering which repeal or limitation of the car tax engender who
can have any shadow of a doubt that the one percent would stay forever?
There is more but this should be enough to support a "NO" vote
on November 5'.
James N. Garrett Jr. - Portsmouth