Sunday, November 9, 2014

That Bad Old Transportation Tax

Patricia Evans shared this e-mail from Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall. Why is it tagged with "electric car, energy-efficient, car-free"? Because the bill included extra taxes on electric cars and mopeds, presumably to discourage anyone from simply selling their gas-guzzler to avoid paying higher taxes...

Remember that huge Virginia transportation tax increase that we were promised would ONLY be used for transportation?  Now they want to pave the way to use the taxes collected for something else.  All too familiar.
From Delegate Bob Marshall:   View this email in your browser
I need your IMMEDIATE help to ensure that the transportation taxes passed in 2013 will only be spent on transportation and if diverted, the taxes would cease.  I also need your help to block the Virginia gas tax increase which starts on January 1. 
Please contact your Virginia Delegate and Senator no later than noon on Monday about my amendments!
Ask them to vote to restore the transportation "kill switch" provision, and to vote to prevent the fuel taxes from rising automatically.   Demand that they go on record with a “yes” or “no” vote on these questions and not duck these amendments. 

Click here:  Virginia delegates and senators  Then click your location on the map to get your legislators phone numbers and emails.

More information below:
Road Tax Detour:  Please ask your Delegate and Senator to support my amendment to restore the transportation tax “kill switch” to the budget bill, HB 5010, which will be considered Monday, November 10th.

Although I voted against HB 2313, the huge transportation tax increase passed in 2013, supporters of the tax increases promised that every dime would only fund transportation.  To prove it, and because there had been previous raids on transportation funds, HB 2313 mandated that if the transportation funds raised by HB 2313 are ever diverted, the transportation taxes would end. 

However, the budget bill which passed March 25th (HB 5002) neutered the transportation tax “kill switch” and authorized spending $30 Million of the new road money for other purposes!   I voted against the HB 5002 budget.  When the General Assembly met in September to discuss Medicaid expansion, a provision of the new budget bill (HB 5010) delayed depositing almost $50 million into the transportation fund.  Again, I voted “No” in the House of Delegates.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Bond Counsel asked Governor McAuliffe to amend the HB 5010 budget bill to make it clear that if money is diverted in this or future budgets from the transportation fund, that diversion would not flip the "kill switch" to end the taxes.

The Governor has offered an amendment to kill the “kill switch" to allow the new transportation taxes to be used for other purposes.  However, as it would prove embarrassing to say one thing and do another, the House Republican Leadership will ensure that the Governor’s Amendment will not be voted on.

Instead, when we meet on Monday, November 10th, we will vote on another version of HB 5010 which will reinstate the $49.8 Million into the transportation fund (which I support) but will leave untouched the provision to allow future diversions of the new transportation money to non-transportation purposes

Therefore, Delegate Mark Berg and I will offer an amendment to HB 5010 to reinstate the “kill switch” to ensure that transportation taxes will cease if diverted by the state or localities in Northern Virginia and Tidewater.  Unless our amendment passes, Virginia and/or localities will be free to divert future transportation funds to other non-transportation projects. 
Gas Tax Increase January 1:  The 2013 tax increase provided that if Congress did not enact the Marketplace Fairness Act, a nationwide Internet sales tax collection mechanism, by December 31, 2014, that there will be a 1.6 cents per dollar tax increase at the wholesale level, which translates to even higher increases at the pump.   Also, diesel tax rebates will be reduced from 2.5% to .9% which will increase costs on everything transported by truck including food and other household items.

I intend to offer amendments to prevent these fuel taxes from increasing.  It is very likely that members will use a parliamentary procedure to avoid a direct up or down vote on these amendments.

Please contact your state
Virginia delegates and senators and ask them to restore the transportation "kill switch" provision, and prevent the fuel taxes from rising automatically.   Demand that they go on record with a “yes” or “no” vote on these questions and not duck these amendments.

Thank you for your help!

Delegate Bob Marshall

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."  - Thomas Jefferson"