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Nation’s Oldest Taxpayer Group Calls Latest Twist on McDonnell Plan “Taxpayer Nightmare”
For Immediate Release February 21, 2013
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) -- In response to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s now $6.1 billion transportation tax increase proposal over 5 years, the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has stepped up its opposition to the plan, saying it has reached “taxpayer nightmare status.” NTU has more than 9,000 members in Virginia.
NTU State Affairs Manager Lee Schalk said, “The biggest thing Governor McDonnell’s so-called ‘transportation plan’ would transport is the money out of taxpayers’ wallets, and the latest version only spins the wheels faster.”
The Governor’s previous plan, while fundamentally flawed, at least would have scrapped the state’s gas tax. Now, a 3.5 percent wholesale gas tax (6 percent on diesel fuel) has been added to a toxic brew that already includes a $100 annual “fee” for Virginians with cars that run on alternative fuels, a motor vehicle sales tax hike from 3 to 4 percent, and an increase in the retail sales tax rate.
Further alarming NTU is the McDonnell tax hike plan’s reliance on the passage of the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” a federal scheme that would unleash interstate collection of sales taxes online. If this legislation became law, online businesses would suffer; and if it fails, Virginians will see the previously mentioned gas tax rate go even higher, from 3.5 percent to 5.1 percent.
“This is a lose-lose situation for taxpayers and Virginia’s economy,” Schalk concluded. “Whether it comes alongside damaging federal online sales tax legislation, or includes an even higher gas tax rate, the plan unfolding in Richmond would further damage a struggling economy and burden taxpayers.”