You remember the parts of that rotten transportation bill, HB3202, that the Virginia Supreme Court declared unconstitutional. Well, your Prince William Republican Committee took a stand against that rotten bill right from the start. Here is an email from the Chair of the PWC GOP, Tom Kopko.
March 2, 2008
NVTA Taxation Unconstitutional says Virginia Supreme Court
Dear Prince William County Republicans,
Remember back last May when the PWC Republican Committee passed its resolution against the new $300 million-a-year taxation powers the Legislature gave the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA)? We said it was taxation without representation because many NVTA members were unelected. We urged the PWC BOCS to oppose it. We said the new 5% tax on auto repairs would hurt PWC businesses the most. We urged that the taxation powers be challenged in court.
Our BOCS didn’t listen and signed up. You’ll remember that Supv. Marty Nohe, who still represents PWC on the NVTA and is its Vice Chairman, either motioned or seconded the motion for every new NVTA tax. Remember the argument that principle didn’t matter, that “we have to maintain our negotiation stance…and play the hand we’re dealt”?
Fortunately the Virginia Supreme Court recognized that its hand includes the Virginia Constitution which doesn’t allow “taxation without representation”. It unanimously declared the NVTA taxation powers unconstitutional on Feb. 29 since taxation powers had been improperly given to unelected members of the NVTA.
It is no surprise to Republicans in PWC that an Arlington County judge had earlier ruled in favor of the taxation. How ironic that Virginian Patrick Henry coined the phrase “no taxation without representation” as well as “give me liberty or give me death” in Williamsburg back in 1765.
The House of Delegates Speaker, Bill Howell (R-Stafford), who joined Gov. Kaine as arguably the NVTA scheme’s biggest proponents said, “I think we can correct it, and I think we will. Obviously, it is a bump in the road, but certainly it is not the end-all, be-all.”
Kudos to Delegate Bob Marshall and his legal team led by Patrick McSweeney who challenged the NVTA taxation powers against strong opposition and even ridicule, ultimately triumphing in protection of the rights of Virginia taxpayers.
Since the NVTA had begun collecting the new taxes (such as the $10 per year increases in vehicle registration, etc.) even while legal challenge was ongoing, people are wondering whether they will get their money back.
Chairman, Pr. Wm. County Republican Committee (PWCGOP.org)