In campaign literature and commentary, the Democrats in this election cycle are all about saying they want to keep taxes low or even cut them. But when it comes time to actually do what’s necessary to accomplish those tasks, they vote to raise them. Dem candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds has a long history of voting for tax increases and has outright said that he’ll sign an increase to fund transportation projects if he’s elected. The picture of our representatives closer to our homes – and I mean our delegates – isn’t any better. Since elected to office, Dave Poisson has both voted for big increases in our taxes and advocated for completely new taxing schemes on top of that.
Remember this when you hear Poisson talk big about cutting taxes: SB6009. That bill, which ultimately failed but for which Poisson voted in support of, was a $2 Billion tax increase with some NoVA-specific “goodies” contained.
- A big new tax on buying a new car or a new home.
- A sales tax increase on Northern Virginia, something the voters had solidly denied just a few years ago.
- Higher taxes on hotel rooms, cars, and sales in general.
Poisson’s big idea while in office has been to figure out how to replace the gas tax since it’s just not bringing in enough revenue for he and his colleagues to spend. His suggestion was to implement a mileage tax, a tax assessed on you for how many miles you drive.
Now, how could he do that, you wonder? Well, there’s really only 2 ways to do that. First, you can tax someone based on their odometer readings taken at some location, like at the annual car inspection. Of course there’s a few problems with that. First, the odometer doesn’t distinguish between miles driven on Virginia roads and miles driven outside the state. For those of us who commute regularly to DC or make interstate trips frequently this would mean getting a tax assessed for driving on Virginia roads even when we aren’t in Virginia. A trip begun in Winchester, VA, for example, where you headed out to Ohio and Indiana would rack up over 1000 miles in tax assessments even though you drove less than 100 miles in Virginia. Then, second, there’s the matter of odometer tampering. You could throw odometer failure in on that one. Third, it assesses taxes on Virginians using Virginia roads but no out-of-state drivers.
The other method is to literally track your movements. There’s really only 1 way to get that done: install a mandatory GPS transponder in your car and either put a “flight recorder” in there that monitors your every movement so your mileage can be downloaded later or put up a monitoring network to collect that data in near-real time. I’m sure that such a system would never be used for any other purpose nor would the data collected ever be mishandled. This is being handled by the state’s employees, after all.
This is the idea that Dave Poisson wants explored and implemented. Not determining where we’re spending the money we already collect and making the kind of decisions we all have to make at home – whether we can afford a given expense – and then adjusting our expenditures accordingly. He’s seeking new ways to take more of your money and then going on during his re-election bid about how he understands we need to keep taxes low. This is what he’s been doing with the time he’s been in office. It’s been 4 years and this is the big thing he’s been trying for.
Poisson campaigned in his first election about being the guy who’ll get things done. He campaigned about needing a change in our Delegate because nothing was being accomplished. Aside from seeking new ways to tax people is anything really different? Has he really brought new momentum to addressing the needs of Northern Virginia and of we Loudouners in particular? Not so much.
Let’s get a candidate elected who has the business savvy and energy to come at these problems with fresh thinking and a “get it done” approach. Tag Greason is that candidate and we need to get him into office. I’ve checked Tag’s positions out at his web site, http://www.vote4tag.com, and you should, too.