The Big Lie – Virginia’s Jamestown Tax

Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 2007 was a big year for us.  If you have not heard, the 400 year anniversary of Jamestown took place this past summer.  So you can just imagine 2007 has been one big year-long party.  Like any party, it cost a bit of money to throw and being 400 years old, a cake and keg surely is not enough for this celebration.Jamestown 400 anv.Jamestown 2007

With the help of former Gov. Mark Warner and the General Assembly, a one-time tax of $1 ($6 million a year) to vehicle registration was passed to pay for this grand celebration that included President Bush, Gov. Tim Kaine, and her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The main provision about this tax is that it is to expire on July 2008.  What does this mean?  The best way to look at it is like when you purchase a car.  You agree to a loan for a certain amount of time, this time chosen is based on how big the loan is and how long it would take to pay it back to the bank.  Once you’ve paid back the loan in time agreed to, you receive the title for the car.  Same situation here with the tax, the bank is the fine citizens of Virginia, the owner is the State, the car is Jamestown and the terms is from 2004-2008.

Just like during the Warner administration, the Commonwealth is in a “budget crisis.”  Gov. Kaine has declared the state will have a $600 million budget shortfall (this shortfall does not include the new $53 million dollars he has proposed for child-welfare services) which needs swift resolve in order to fix.  Guess what Gov. Kaine has proposed.  You guessed it, taxes.  No, he’s not issue new taxes like Gov. Warner.  Instead he’s going to extend the vehicle registration tax, a one-time tax that the citizens of Virginia have already paid.  According to Gov Kaine this tax is a way to fund new tourism initiatives and the DVM. 

Personally I have no problem in funding these areas, especially tourism.  The way I look at is, the more people that come to Virginia, the more they spend, the more money they bring to the coffers and I would think the less I would be taxed in the end.  At least that is how it is supposed to work.  However, the General Assembly and the Governor’s office made a promise to the great people of Virginia when the Jamestown tax was passed.  It would be a one-time event. 

Now this promise looks like it will broken along with the trust we have in our elected officials.  When will this cycle of lies end with our elected officials?  It is bad enough we have people in Washington lie to us, but it is even worse when it is our own neighbors who are representing us in local and state government.  It is time to end this cycle of lies and mistrust.  It is time to hold our representatives accountable for their actions by letting our voices be heard through ballot box.  This is a good example of what Reverend Jonathan Mayhew saw in Boston in 1750 and preached in sermon – “No Taxation without Representation!”

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