Today, the Senate effectively approved a local income tax for northern Virginia, by removing the referendum requirement in the current law. The new tax will essentially be an extra 1% charge on the current income tax rate, if approved by the local Board. The argument was that these “new” funds will be dedicated to transportation, thus “solving” our transportation crisis.
I voted “no.” I was the only Fairfax County senator to vote against it.
This is a mistake. While income tax can raise a lot of revenue, it also is a tax that is EXCLUSIVELY paid by Virginia tax filers. It is not paid by out-of-state users of our highway, who are 30% of our highway traffic. It is not paid by Virginia residents who file out-of-state returns. It is not paid by “cash only” businesses.
If agreed by the House, this bill would place a surcharge on northern Virginians, by requiring them to pay an extra tax for the same state service enjoyed by others for free. (You get your roads paved by the state tax dollar. We have a local income tax!)
My fear is that this bill has now become the “solution” for transportation, since it raises (on paper) enormous amounts of revenue. And it represents the worst possible deal for the northern Virginia taxpayer.