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Democracy in Virginia: Arlington vs. Rest of Virginia

Yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that voters in two greater Richmond area counties (Henrico and Hanover) will be soon be voting on whether to adopt the so-called meals tax. Henrico voters will vote on the tax in March, along with voting on a bond referendum. In the meantime, Hanover voters will vote on whether to adopt the tax in November. The 'operative words' are that voters in those two counties, and elsewhere in Virginia, will have an opportunity to vote on whether to adopt the tax.

When the General Assembly gave local governments authority to adopt the meals tax more than 10 years ago, they did so with the proviso that adoption required approval by the voters in a referendum. For Arlington County, however, the General Assembly said the meals tax could be implemented without voter approval if the tax received a unanimous vote of the County Board. Of course, the General Assembly didn't single out Arlington County directly, but stipulated the referendum could be avoided for those counties which had adopted the 'County Manager Plan' of government. How many Virginia counties do you think have the 'County Manager Plan' of government?


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