Friday, March 22, 2013

Draft Press Release: AG: Transportation Taxes for NoVA & Tidewater Unconstitutional!



Contact: Delegate Bob Marshall 703-853-4213


Attorney General Rules Additional/Higher Transportation Taxes Unconstitutional!


Manassas, VA - Delegate Robert G. "Bob" Marshall (R-13) received the attached opinion from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in response to his request for an opinion with regard to the constitutionality of the additional and higher taxes imposed on Northern Virginia and Tidewater as part of HB 2313 which is awaiting Governor Bob McDonnell's signature.  Delegate Marshall questioned whether the "special" taxes were in violation of the uniformity laws in Title X of the Constitution, whether they violated the prohibition to enact local law in Title IV and if not would the requirements of Title VII apply that require local legislation to receive a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly.


It is the Attorney General's opinion that Title X does not apply because none of the taxes are directly taxes on property but that Title IV DOES apply because the laws single out portions of the Commonwealth without regard to similarities and differences between these areas and others around the state but bases the implementation of these additional taxes purely on geography.  This means that the portions of HB 2313 adding additional and higher taxes are unconstitutional. 


"I am thrilled with the Attorney General's opinion with regard to the unconstitutional taxes in HB 2313," said Marshall.  "Isolating Northern Virginia and Tidewater residents to place an additional tax burden on those citizens who already pay more to Richmond in taxes than they get back is unconscionable.  Without the higher and additional regional taxes HB 2313 cannot be a functional solution to Virginia's transportation problems.  I hope that the Governor will seriously consider vetoing this legislation or finding a way to start from scratch to find an equitable way to pay for transportation without raising taxes."


"I congratulate the Attorney General for his correct reading of the Virginia Constitution and appropriate case law at a time when many were urging him to dodge this question or issue a politically expedient opinion so as to avoid controversy in his gubernatorial campaign.  I congratulate him for standing up for the Constitution and the people of Virginia."

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