"Government mismanagement, not low taxes responsible for financial woes"
Citizens not under-taxed, just under-led

Speakers at the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance press conference Thursday said the pending sales tax referendum, which would raise taxes 22%, is the first step toward regional government.

If passed, the funds will be managed by regional agencies who are not elected by the people, such as the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.  "Those non-elected, non-accountable bureaucrats will decide how the tax monies are spend."

At the press conference held at the Virginia Department of Transportation's Traffic Control Center off I-64 @ Indian River Road, representatives against the referendum called on the legislature to develop a comprehensive tax plan - not a plan of 'regional taxation.'

They also challenged proponents of the sales tax referendum to point to one example where higher taxes have reduced road congestion.

"Point to one example - just one - where more roads have reduced congestion," they added.

Such results don't exist.  And the referendum is not about a lack of money to run the government, but a lack of leadership to run the government.

The 10 a.m. press conference was attended by almost as many VDOT employees as tax protesters.

The Virginian-Pilot reported in its Monday edition  that although Chesapeake approved a 22-road improvement referendum in 1994 - only 3 have been started (none finished). (See: Tight budget puts Chesapeake in bind)

Similar examples, particularly involving road projects, abound throughout the state.  Many are far behind schedule.  Most are considerably over budget.  And at least one is under criminal investigation. (See: I-81)

Under estimates, over budget, costly delays, and possible fraud is rampant.

Sandy Linkhous, representing VBTA said, "In opposing the referendum VBTA joins Virginia House of Delegate Members Johnny Joannou, Leo Wardrup, Dick Black, other organizations throughout Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia to Stop the Increase in the Sales Tax."

The November election is all about whether Virginia voters will retain their tradition of fiscal conservatism or adopt the high tax and high debt strategies of other states - states many fled to avoid proliferating layers of government, new bureaucracies, and regional taxes.

Big businesses and special interest groups have geared up to spend millions to convince the voters that the only way to meet our transportation requirements is by increasing the sale and use tax by 22 %. 

Linkhous said, "In fact, the Hampton Roads Partnership will use your tax dollars for its propaganda campaign to falsely represent as unbiased education its effort to convince you to voluntarily vote yourself a 22% tax increase.

"We understand that we are the underdogs in this election campaign,"  The power of television to convey half-truths as the whole truth and its effectiveness in promoting this sham cannot be underestimated. "

In her statement, Linkhous said, "We did not engage in this public debate because we thought it would be fairly conducted, or because we thought it would easy, or because we enjoyed being away from our families nights and weekends.  

" NO, we are engaged in this public debate because we believe in Virginia’s traditional values – accountable and fiscally restrained government."

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