All of the Loudoun county delegates, and our state senator, came to the Loudoun county republican committee meeting last night to explain their votes on the transportation tax bill. Three delegates voted for the huge tax increase, Randy Minchew, Joe May, and Tag Greason. All three tried to explain the reasons for their votes for the biggest tax increase in Virginia history. None of them said that any of our traffic problems in Loudoun will be helped by the new transportation ‘plan’.
Delegate Joe May was the first to speak. He talked about the problem of potholes in Loudoun and how they effect our quality of life. Since I’ve never encountered a pothole in Loudoun, and all of our roads seem to be repaved every year (whether they need it or not), Joe’s argument was rather silly. Potholes? Really? We needed a $6.1 BILLION for potholes? Joe also said that tax money raised in Loudoun will now stay in Loudoun. We all know that is not true. According to Delegate David Ramadan some of our additional taxes will go to a ‘regional authority’ in NOVA to determine how to use the money and that means Fairfax will decide how the money will be spent. Obviously that means that the money will be spent in Fairfax. The money will NOT remain in Loudoun. Delegate May also spoke about how long he has been in the General Assembly. His entire speech was terrible. He couldn’t justify his vote for this terrible bill.
Delegate Tag Greason spoke next, taking us all on a trip down memory lane. He said since he first came to LCRC he had told us how much he supported business. He always told us that he was all about business and creating jobs. Virginia has now moved from #1 in business to #3 because we need more transportation infrastructure. Since the democrats in Richmond wouldn’t let them use more general funds for transportation, they had to pass this huge tax increase, even though it was very, very, difficult. (I thought republicans were in charge in Richmond, but apparently not, since democrats ‘wouldn’t let them’ use general funds or the surplus.) This massive tax increase supports business, so it’s a good thing in Tag’s book. He did not explain what this infrastructure might be. New roads? More subways? More helicopter transportation? Pothole filling?
Delegate Randy Minchew spoke next and said that he thinks taxes are evil, he hates taxes as much we do! (Who knew?!) But sometimes leaders must be BOLD! So he boldly voted for this tax increase because he doesn’t want to ‘kick the can down the road’ and make subsequent general assemblies be in the position of having to vote to increase taxes for road maintenance! He and McDonnell showed real leadership! They’re real leaders! After all, traffic congestion impairs our liberties! Delegate Minchew failed to tell us how this bill will alleviate that traffic congestion and expand our liberties. None of the delegates told us how the new taxes would help with any traffic problems in NOVA because there is nothing in this bill that will do anything about our traffic problems. Delegate Ramadan confirmed that. As he said, it’s simply a bad bill, bad policy.
Senator Dick Black was very gracious, refusing to criticize those who voted for the tax increase. He said that new bill is taxes piled upon taxes, with a whole new layer of taxes for people in Loudoun. He listened to his constituents and could not support this bill that will burden all of us. He said we don’t have a taxing problem, we have a SPENDING PROBLEM! The allocation of funds is wrong! He said he listened to our concerns and had to vote against this tax increase. Senator Black was given two standing ovations at the LCRC meeting because he is a hero, standing up for the people.
The other hero of the evening was Delegate Ramadan who, like Randy Minchew, had taken the Taxpayer Protection pledge, promising not to raise taxes. Unlike Randy Minchew, Delegate Ramadan thought it important to honor that pledge. (While the Pledge was a very important part of Delegate Minchew’s campaign, he had no problem violating it in his first term of office, voting for a massive tax increase. In the pledge that Randy Minchew so proudly displayed during his campaign, he promised “to oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes”. It sure didn’t take him long to violate that promise to voters!) Delegate Ramadan honored his pledge because he is a man of honor, a man of his word. He also said that the bill was a bad deal. It won’t solve our traffic problems. He supports tax reform and there is no tax reform in this tax bill. He thought that the general assembly should have waited and done real tax reform rather than pass this bad bill.
The 10th district Republican Chair, John Whitbeck, gave an impassioned speech against the tax bill, asking what republicans stand for if not lower taxes and less government. His 10th district committee opposed the transportation tax bill unanimously. John also received a standing ovation. LCRC members were VERY supportive of those who had the courage to stand up and oppose this monstrosity of a tax increase. There was a tremendous of amount of anger in the room! John expressed our anger very well.
In other news, David LaRock, a true conservative, will oppose Joe May in a June primary. Joe May has been in the House of Delegates for 20 years, moving more and more to the left each session. His complete support of this massive tax is the last straw. We need a real conservative representing us in Loudoun. We need David LaRock.