More than a dozen bloggers have signed an open letter to the General Assembly asking them to defeat the “compromise” tax increase.
I am happy to say that four of my fellow Virginia Virtucon bloggers joined me in signing this letter.
UPDATE: Joining us, Susan Stimpson, Pete Snyder, E.W. Jackson, and Grover Norquist in opposing this are Corey Stewart, Steve Martin, both Attorney General candidates (Rob Bell and Mark Obenshain), the Family Foundation, the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance
The legislature listened to us in 2008. Will they listen to us now?
The pdf version of the letter:
Open Letter Regarding the Transportation Tax Hike (HB 2313) by Shaun Kenney
The link to the letter is here. Among the key points (emphasis in original)…
If fully implemented, the bill would cost Virginia taxpayers over $1.3 billion in new taxes. With the economy on a knife’s edge, additional taxes would damage employment (by raising the cost of business), consumption (by raising overall prices), and the overall business environment. This is not the time to raise taxes on hard-working Virginian employers and employees.
Moreover, the “local” tax increases (on Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia) will have numerous consequences in addition to exacerbating the damage mentioned above.
The grantor’s tax is an especially cruel tax to impose on these regions as they still try to recover from the housing slump that began over five years ago.
The higher sales tax will damage business on the regions’ outskirts (Prince William, Loudoun, Gloucester, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, James, City, York, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach) as their neighbors’ lower taxes attract businesses and consumers.
The regional hotel occupancy tax may or may not affect tourism, but it will certainly bean increased cost to business travel, further damaging the business climate.
Compounding this confusion will be the internet sales tax, which will now be expected(assuming Congressional passage) to be imposed not evenly throughout Virginia, but according to the sales tax quilt woven by this bill.
Finally, the creation of these regional taxes will encourage revenue-addicted politicians in other regions throughout the Commonwealth, adding greater uncertainty in tax regimens, and a patchwork of local taxes.
Every Republican statewide official (and most legislators) were elected on a promise not to raise taxes. This bill erodes the credibility of all future candidates and the ability of voters to hold said candidates accountable.
This violation of faith damages our democracy in incalculable ways.