Friday, January 20, 2006

The Northern Virginia Plan

I guess it's either this or secession. Some Northern Virginia Republicans are proposing legislation that would raise about $300 million a year through fee and tax increases, with the money going to Northern Virginia's transportion needs. This morning's Washington Post outlines some details:
'The legislation includes increased fees on truck and trailer registrations and car rentals; higher penalties for chronically bad drivers; an additional 20-cent fee for every $100 of the sale price of a property; and an extra $5 tax on hotel and motel rooms. The bill also would ensure that the sales tax collected on motor vehicle parts would be dedicated to transportation...
"The key here is that money doesn't have to go through Richmond," said Del. David B. Albo, one of the three legislators who have developed the plan. "I want to make sure that money raised in Northern Virginia goes directly to that turn lane that needs to be put in or that secondary road that needs to be widened."'
Can or will the General Assembly go along with regional plans and a statewide funding plan?
'"I would suspect that we would pass out one set of plans, but not both," said Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who added that he would consider supporting the regional sales tax increase to help match the federal money for Metro.'


At 8:54 AM, Blogger Toomanytaxes said...

The GOP plan for raising money locally and actually putting it to use for improvements on secondary and local streets makes sense.

First, it taps some of the increase in housing values at the point of sale, where someone is collecting on that value of the real estate. Who bears the economic incidence of the tax will vary by transaction and economic circumstances.

Second, it would keep the money in NoVA. Few, except for our elected officials who keep working statewide deals, trust the process of sending dollars to Richmond in exchange for pennies back.

Third, it addresses secondary roads, which are generally ignored, but can truly be low-hanging fruit. Simple things, such as left- and right-turn lanes, can make a measurable difference in local traffic conditions.

Fourth, it avoids the fraud of the 2002 sales tax referendum, which was designed simply to open more land to development, regardless of the consequences for taxpayers. There are many people in NoVA who strongly believe that we should play catch-up with infrastructure, rather than spur more development.

Kudos to one of the most underrated members of the GA - Dave Albo.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

" additional 20-cent fee for every $100 of the sale price of a property"

If the idea is to encourage people to live near where they work, a plan to add more disincentive to moving is a perfectly terrible idea. That tax is a double tax because it will get added to the sales price, the assessment, and the property tax.

What this means is that we will add the cost of infrastructure (roads) to construction costs on the front end, and then we will tax the increase in home value on the back end, an increase that is partly due to high travel costs created by failing to meet the demand for transportation.

The good side of it is that it taxes the churn, and not the stable elements of the community that stay put.


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