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A Higher Local Income Tax for Arlington Taxpayers?

Gordon J. Tucker was correct when he said, "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." (See "liberty" at Wikipdeia)

For evidence, let's turn to the Virginia General Assembly. Yesterday, Scott McCaffrey reported in the Arlington Sun Gazette that a "bill would give localities ability to levy income taxes without referendums." He begins the story by writing:

"Is it a back-door attempt at a tax increase, or the best way to help fund transportation improvements across the region?

"That could be the question if the House of Delegates goes along with a state Senate proposal giving Northern Virginia localities the ability to impose a local income tax without first going to voters for permission.

"The measure, tucked into an unrelated tax measure patroned by state Sen. Walter Stosch (R-Virginia Beach), passed the state Senate 27-11 on the last day before “crossover,” when bills in each house have to be sent to the other house.

"Stosch’s measure ostensibly is designed to add the city of Norfolk to the list of localities across Virginia allowed to impose a local income tax (up to 1 percent) to generate revenue for transportation purposes. But the bill also removes the requirement that Northern Virginia localities hold referendums before the tax can be imposed." (emphasis added)

McCaffrey continues by noting how the current law was arrived at, and that no referendums have been held in any of the jurisdictions authorized to do so. He also noted that state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax/Vienna) "blasted" the legislation, which was "wrong for Fairfax, wrong for transportation." McCaffrey also noted the following quote by Sen. Petersen, noting he was "the only Northern Virginia senator to vote against it."

This bill represents the worst possible deal for the Northern Virginia taxpayer." (emphasis added)

The bill in question is SB 1313 with Sen. Stosch it's chief patron. The "summary as introduced" is:

"Local income tax. Adds the City of Portsmouth to the list of localities authorized to impose a local income tax to generate revenue to be used for transportation purposes. The bill also removes the requirement that the local income tax be approved by a referendum and repeals the five-year sunset on the local income tax." (emphasis added)

As McCaffrey reported, the bill passed the Senate by a 27-11 vote. You can find the "yeas" and "nays" here.

To express your outrage that SB 1313 will delete the referendum requirement for the local income tax, you can find contact information for Senators Debbin, Favola and Howell here, and for Delegates Brink, Krupicka, Lopez and Park here. Or, you can find all of 'Arlington's elected officials" at Arlington County's website.

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