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Not Jack Herrity

My sentiments exactly. That provision was also in the original Albo-Rust bill.

Of course, heaven forbid the General Assembly should take the plunge and raise the fees themselves.

NJH

Not Larry Sabato

Agreed. The problem here is everyone wanting to spend money and not wanting the be the ones to vote to raise it.

Pathetic.

Church Hill Dem

Um, Gerry Connolly and Kaine affected Speaker Howell's pet bill? I've got to admit that comes as news to me. Don't you remember how the Republicans gave Kaine an honorary rocking chair for sitting on the sidelines while the transportation bill was moving forward?

Not Larry Sabato

and don't you remember Tim Kaine having a press conference with Gerry Connolly after they passed the bill with Tim saying he would amend it to change that very part?

Doug in Mount Vernon

Gerry Connolly? Well, whatever, he raised hell as a local official and frankly I don't blame him one bit. He should have.

The REAL culprits are the anti-tax Republicans, who have single-handedly turned Virginia government into a shithole (the only thing that's saved it were two Democratic governors and a reasonable Senate).

I predict electoral peril for the no-taxers.

Hugo, Frederick, Lingamfelter, Marshall (even though you were correct about this, you're still part of the problem)---we're AIMING for you.

Rust, sorry, God love ya, but your time has come. You've got to go too.

Virginia can do SO MUCH BETTER.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Christ, how on Earth could I forget the biggest schmuck around, Albo Must GO!!

Not Larry Sabato

Doug, the first bill was local governments voting to raise these fees to fund projects and then give it to NVTA (constitutional). The final version was NVTA doing it themselves (unconstitutional according to Supreme Court). We gained nothing from the changes other than the Supervisors not voting for a tax increase. In fact, we lost the entire bill because they tried to throw it off on an unelected body. And no, in this case the GA should not have done it- it was a regional tax, it needed to be approved REGIONALLY. That's the core of democracy- someone voting for tax increases you can hold accountable. Remember a tea party and revolution we had for this reason???

Any blame the GA gets should be for failing to provide a statewide solution, which they deserve a LOT of blame for.

Doug in Mount Vernon

The state legislators trying to pass the buck onto local Boards of Supervisors OR onto a regional taxing authority (that obviously turned out to be unconstitutional) was the ONLY problem here.

I actually am glad that Gerry Connolly stood up and said, "Bullshit!" when the House GOP tried to pass the tax-raising buck onto every possible corner of the government they could in order to save their pathetic, driveling, snotty asses from the inevitable.

Short-sighted JACKASSES!!!

Be a f-ing man for once in your pathetic political lives and do what Virginia needs you to do for her.

Do it, or get voted out.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Ben, it doesn't matter if the first version was constitutional or not. It was a PATHETIC attempt by GA Republicans to save their asses and try not appear as tax raisers when EVERYONE knew they were anyway and they NEEDED to step up and just do what is RIGHT for Virginia.

I don't blame Gerry Connolly ONE BIT for standing up to their reprehensible abdication of their SWORN responsibilities.

Every last one of them needs to be TOSSED out on their ASSES!

 Not Larry Sabato

Doug- it is not their responsibility to raise regional taxes. It's the region's job, they just have to give the authority.

Again, what they should be blamed for is not having a statewide solution. A regional solution (approved by the local governments in the region) was the Governor's first plan, and all that was needed was the authority for them to do so- which the GA granted.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Can you tell I'm kinda pissed about this?

Doug in Mount Vernon

Ben, it IS the GA's responsibility to make sure the revenue is there for the ENTIRE state.

That includes NoVA and HR.

Regional solutions are like band-aids to this problem that what is need is specified dedication of revenue. That doesn't need to be done locally, and I would argue SHOULD NOT be. The state knows where the needs are and should be providing the solutions regardless, for EVERY REGION.

The problem is not that this needed to be a regional tax. The problem is that Republicans in the VA House have been a bunch of chicken-shit assholes for far too damn long by not simply admitting that their pet ideology inhibits Virginia and they need to do the job they were elected to do and SERVE the needs of the Commonwealth, and they've been getting away with it.

Bullshit. Their time has come!!!

Doug in Mount Vernon

Ben, I don't understand how you can dare to imply that a regional taxing plan MUST be part of the transportation solution? Surely there are a concentration of projects in regions, but statewide funding of transportation needs is the ONLY fair way to do it!!!

NoVA already pays outrageous amounts of its average tax dollars into the state that NEVER makes it back. And on top of this we are asked to tax ourselves EVEN MORE to pay for BASIC NEEDS that the state should already be providing?!? It's bullshit!!

Tax the entire state on an equitably basis and divvy that money up to address the needs in the state, REGARDLESS of where they are.

I am so sick and f-ing tired of being Virginia's cash-cow piggybank and getting screwed over left and right, and having GOP buttheads in the Assembly laugh at how much money we need, all while we're sending billions out of NoVA.

It's madness.

Do it right, dammit.

Tatum

The Club for Growth and other anti-tax groups keep them all paralized with fear.

A little courage could go a long way here.

An Observer

Doug in Mount Vernon does not understand the situation.

Because of the transportation funding formula, a statewide tax increase - which he is advocating -means that Northern Virginia will have returned roughly half of every dollar sent to Richmond.

NOTE: Doug in Mount Vernon wants to send a Brinks Armored Car full of NOVA money and leave it in Richmond.

Avoiding that situation is why they went to a regional solution. With a regional solution, money raised in Northern Virginia stays in Northern Virginia!

Doug in Mount Vernon

An Observer,

I understand fully well that this is what is happening right now especially on formula funding areas like education.

This DOES NOT need to be the case with transportation projects. What is needed is the state to address ALL regions needs, and raise the money equitably across the ENTIRE state to do so.

It just happens that in NoVA our needs far exceed that of any other region.

I am arguing that this should be an area of state government expenditure that SHOULD BE equalizing the tax and revenue dispersement disparities. I reject additional regional taxes for NoVA because we will in effect be paying for it TWICE.

It's got to stop.

Doug in Mount Vernon

But it will only work if the Reputzlicans in the GA get their crap together, grow a pair, and raise the gas tax across the entire state sufficiently to fund all projects in the pipeline, including about $1B annually for the first 5-6 years in NoVA.

It may rest with VDOT as well for the execution of addressing NoVA's needs, but why do we need to pay more when we're already getting boatloads less money per tax dollar invested?

I just feel like NoVA keeps getting bitch-slapped over and over by the GA, despite our huge generosity and economic powering of the state.

Virginia needs to grow up and recognize how good they've got it before it dwindles away...

Doug:

First, let me say that what I am writing applies to every locality in NoVA except Arlington County.

If Northern Virginia localities acted responsibly in terms of development and capacity, you all would not have this problem.

Local Government sees the increased revenue they receive from new development. And it is even more enticing because after a year, VDOT takes over the road maintenance of every cul-de-sac and the County can wash their hands of it.

The state has no control over how many new locally-approved miles of road are stuffed into their budget each year. Essentially, it is an unfunded mandate on State government. The Gerry Connollys run up a bill and then want the state to pay it in perpetuity.

Maybe if local government up there acted responsibly and take into account that services, especially roads, are overburdened, then NoVA would not have this problem.

There is fundamentally something wrong with the localities being able to charge all of these new roads on VDOT's credit card without getting an OK and then whining when there is not enough money to fix the problem they created.

Your Boards of Supervisors created this mess because it was revenue positive for them to do so. Personally, I think we should shove all of those secondary and local roads back to the localities and say "you approved them without VDOT approval, then you deal with them." That would free up a lot of money for the big projects and it would stop local government from approving more townhouses and stripmalls. It is a lot of fun to approve this and approve that without having to consider the cost ramifications. So why should state legislators take the heat of a tax hike for local government's problem of its own creation. The lack of courage is not in Richmond. The lack of courage is on the local Boards of Supervisors who so desperately want to avoid taking any responsible for they mess they made.

One more thing. The reality, for better or for worse, is that NoVA is a strong economic engine. And for that reason, the region will always be a net payer for the cost of state services, barring a cataclysmic economic shift. But remember, NoVA residents pay more because they earn more. If NoVA residents are going to resent the fact that peanut farmers and coal workers pay less than they do, then NoVA should become the 51st state. But do not join up with WV, since you would end up being a net payer. Same if you merge with DC and probably the same if you merge with MD.

But really Doug, what you want is a tax cut. You want to send less of your taxes to Richmond but you want others to send more. Or you want to use more and others to use less. It works out the same since services are cut elsewhere and boosted for NoVA. Since NoVA is the wealthiest area, what you are really suggesting is either a tax cut for the rich or a tax hike for the poor. I thought Democrats found that sort of thing horrifying. Your tax cut plan for the McLean Millionaires would place additional burdens on low-income workers, the elderly and the children (because Democrats always have to mention the children in moments like these--you would think they were eligible to vote)--that Democrats say they champion. Your way would be a tax hike or a service cut on impovrished Virginians from Appalachia to Bayview.

And the rest of us should suffer because your local governments would rather pass the buck than do their job? I don't think so.

novamiddleman

Doug here is the problem in your argument

The democratic proposed budget takes money from transportation to fund other priorities. The republican led legislature has done this in the past.

Kaine campaigned on creating a lockbox for transportation

Until this actually occurs there is nothing to stop the legislature from continuing to direct money specifically trageted to transportation to other areas of the budget.

Doug:

Gasoline is at record highs and you think people should pay even more? Are you out of your mind?

Fuel costs have risen to the highest percentage of family budgets since the late 70's and you think they should pay more? Not all of us are rich like you NoVA people. In some parts of the state people are hurting because of higher gas prices and the related higher cost of all goods due to rising transportation costs. And that weakening economic problem plays a part too.

Now, I know that Saslaw thinks that it is worth the price of two Big Mac meals a year or whatever BS Trotskyite economics he is babbling about. The problem is that you and Saslaw want people to give up their two Big Macs over and above all the Happy Meals, Filet O' Fish and Shamrock Shakes we have already forgone at the pump because of price hikes.

I didn't tell NoVA to pack people in like sardines due to growth, without planning for the consequences. You all made piss-poor development choices. You raise your own gas taxes to pay for it. Leave me out of the equation.

When you let a flood of people come to an area without any sort of effort to figure out if the infrastructure could sustain it or if there was money to cover the additional usage, what did you expect was going to happen.

I'll make you a deal. When Gerry Connolly says that Fairfax County will take over maintenance of all local roads and subdivisions since Fairfax approved them all, then I will stand with you for an additional source of revenue to deal with highways and major state secondary roads. Until then, you're on your own, Ace.

This is boring. What's the latest on "Cigargate?" Oh nothing?

Doug in Mount Vernon

First, I agree with you Anon that better development patterns help to reduce this problem. But to blame all the need on the development of the past that was required to house and sustain the millions of people in NoVA who gave Virginia economic clout is assinine. If you'd check your facts, a growing percentage of development in NoVA is not happening on new cul-de-sacs, but in redevelopments of existing blocks usually in transit-friendly locations. That percentage will only grow.

Can you say the same of Richmond of Virginia Beach? I don't think so judging by my travels there.

Second, no I don't want a tax cut. I never have.

I want transportation problems that are overwhelmingly in Northern Virginia to get fixed. New transit, roads widened and improved, grade separated interchanges built, new Metro or bus-rapid-transit corridors, etc. I want to be able to get around and not spend 45 minutes going 10 miles to work.

My frustration over our double-taxing proposals is not because I feel anyone else in the state doesn't need to be supported or that I don't recognize that we will always be subsidizing the rest of the state, in effect. You've got this all wrong.

Don't you think that when a statewide gas tax is increased that most of the gas tax revenue, having been bought in Northern Virginia, will again come from Northern VA!? Of course it will. But it WON'T have come exclusively from NoVA.

So Anon 3:02, you've got it all backwards, and it's not hard to read into your bent. So back off.

Doug in Mount Vernon

"Gasoline is at record highs and you think people should pay even more? Are you out of your mind?"

Absolutely not. It's the PERFECT user tax!

Furthermore, the extent to which increased fuel costs, going ACCORDING TO THE MARKET, drive more dollars investing into fuel efficiency & conservation, and more investment in mass transit, the better.

Absolutely not. It's EXACTLY the right approach to drive the market where it's already headed anyway.

Doug in Mount Vernon

novamiddleman

I agree

novamiddleman

Sorry Doug you are wrong again you actually hit on the real issue with the gas tax though which suprise suprise is purely political

These are generalizations but they generally holdup

The people that actually travel the most using gas are in rural areas and in NoVa's case the outer exurbs which are reprsented by Rs

The people that actually travel the least using gas are in the urban areas and inner suburbs mainly reprsented by Ds

See where this is going...

The issue from the D perpsective is pretty obvious

Here is one glaring issue that might not be immediately obvious from the R perspective besides what has already been posted by mr anon person. In the inner suburbs and urban areas most transportation dollars are going for transit, sidewalks, and bicylces.

How is a gas tax going to raise money from the transit users, cyclisits, and pedestrians to pay for the improvements they see.

Doug in Mount Vernon

The biggest problem preventing solutions to Virginia's revenue shortages to fund BASIC functions of state government are that legislators of both parties (particularly Reputzlicans) are beholden to some irrational fear over raising taxes even very modestly in one of the lowest-tax burden states, but enough so as to simply do a DECENT and RESPECTABLE job of managing the state's priorities. The federal government has far, far more room to restrict and reprioritize monies, and should. The services funded by the state are far more core and critical for the most part to our everyday lives.

The simply fact of the matter is, the sources of revenue need to grow to a larger share of the state GDP (at least 2-3% more) and that will help cover MANY of the shortfalls we experience and put VA into the middle of the pack on taxation.

I am speaking honestly, whether you all want to acknowledge it or not.

Once we're where we need to be to provide the level of service Virginia needs to remain world-class in schools, economic growth,etc then we manage cost-of-living type increases.

Until someone comes along with the right political environment, political capital, and political cojones to say this, bluntly, and convince people it's right, Virginia is going to struggle to get done what it needs to get done to protect & improve itself.

That's the way I see it.

Doug in Mount Vernon

"The people that actually travel the most using gas are in rural areas and in NoVa's case the outer exurbs which are reprsented by Rs"

Evidence? Per traveler, that may be true in some circumstances, but I doubt very much this is anywhere near accurate.

How many miles do you drive a week? I drive easily about 400. That's not short driving. It's 35 miles to Rockville and 12 miles to work each day each way. Your not being realistic.

And just FYI, those exurbs you talk about are becoming more and more Democratic.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Even if miles traveled on average in NoVA are slightly less, there are still MILLIONS more drivers up here that will still pay the lions share of new gas tax revenues.

Doug in Mount Vernon

I also just LOVE how its all the NoVA localities fault for "not planning".

I've got news for you, as someone who's spent hours and hours in BOS, planning commission, and other local meetings.

NoVA jurisdictions used about EVERY planning tool at their disposal (at least when they were controlled by reasonable Democrats who were not puppets of the development industry) to do as good a job possible. Virginia is a very, very strong property rights state. Virginia has denied high-growth jurisdictions very important planning tools and funding mechanisms to pay for all the new roads, sewers, schools, libraries, etc in these new communities, and has denied them for over 40 years. Only now are we beginning to see building consensus for things like APFOs and impact fees come to frutition.

So, to your "it's your own fault" argument I have some good ammunition to launch a counter-offensive. In lieu of that, however, might I suggest we focus on what can be done now and in the future to help us ALL out of this mess?

Doug in Mount Vernon

Phew I'm tired.

Ok, I am off to Friday. Everyone have a nice weekend and don't forget to call your representatives and ask for a gas tax increase.

novamiddleman

good call leaving now due to the traffic

In all honesty I am truely on the middle on this both sides are making great points

As far as the future is concerned Doug make sure you only fill up in Virginia :-p.

Wow, that is big news about the transportation authority.

I apologize that this is off topic, but does anyone know how to look up divorce records for Henrico County? Is there a way to do it online? You guys seem to know everything, so I'm hoping someone will know. Thank you!

Can we beep at you too Ben? After all, you voted for Connolly (twice, I am guessing). For all your complaining, you may vote for him a third time this year!

Not Jack Herrity

I gotta give NLS props on this one. He is 100% correct about the way things happened. At the same time, Connolly did have some valid concerns about local government approving the taxes - he was afraid it would screw up local government's ability to float bonds. Still, that issue could have been resolved. His primary beef was that he didn't want to be saddled with raising taxes and then running for Congress on that platform.

For those who thought the GA should have made the decisions, remember that if the GA does it, they can easily take the money and re-route it to other places around the Commonwealth. If local governments do it, it's their money and the GA can't do a thing to redistribute it. That's why the original plan was to have the local guys do it instead of the GA.

If DIMV could see through his partisan blinders for even one minute, maybe he'd be able to be credible on these issues. At least NLS can admit that Kaine and Connolly were the ones who gave this beast to us, with the AG playing a supporting role by saying it would pass muster with the Supreme Court.

NJH

TK and PH

Don't forget the dumbness of Tim Kaine and Pierce Homer, the worst Transportation Combo in Virginia

For all of the BoS, planning commission, and other meetings DiMV attended, he obviously didn't do do a f-ing thing to stop the APR comp plan changes for higher density development. Dip shit, quit talking out of both sides of your ass or just quit your bitching. So you don't like albo, hugo, rust or anyone else with an R next to there name...we already know this, move on, nut case.

Not Jack Herrity

Don't drag Pierce through that mud puddle. I've got great respect for his abilities. On the other hand, his boss and his deputy leave lots to be desired.

NJH

dimv,

ok, you have got to be one of the dumbest sob’s I have ever seen.

You whine like a little homo about republicans not raising enough taxes and make a call to vote them out when in fact the majority of representatives from nova are democrats.

Are you so stupid that you think the rest of the state is going to look out for nova? Never has happened before, when the d’s were in charge nova got screwed worse than we are now. It is not a r vs d issue it is a rural vs nova/hampton issue. I don’t know if you are looking for reactions with your blather or if you are just completely devoid of reality.

If you would stop and think instead of talking out your ass you would realize that by voting out our delegates we would be losing seniority in Richmond. You seem to just want to throw blame, why don’t you toss a little blame where it belongs and that is to those who gave us the funding formulas that we currently have to live with ( that would be the democrats).

You say you are tired of being the cash cow but your ignorant solutions only would make the situation worse.

You should stop and think before you write, and if you did… then maybe you should just stop.

Face it your ideas are ignorant and useless, if you don’t believe it take them put them on a platform and run for office. If you win I will stand corrected. If you are a loser, then that should serve as proof that your opinions are useless and ignorant. (or has that song been played before?)

Not Dick Saslaw

The real scandal is how the state budget went from $20 to $40 billion in the last ten years (50% faster than inflation + population growth), and we're still passing the hat and/or getting nickled and dimed to pay for transportation. This statistic is the best kept, dirty little secret in Richmond.

No it's not because your not equating for income growth. We're still a low tax state.

Not Dick Saslaw

You're right. I'm not equating for income growth. But since when does income growth drive the need for state services? If people are better off in Virginia, maybe income growth ought to be reducing the need for state services -- or at least allow us to provide additional state services, like maybe transportation.

NotAnneCulter

Word has it that many Republicans, including Dave Albo, have advocated that all legislative commissions - Crime Commission, Joint Commission on Health Care, Commission on Youth, etc... - should come under the Division of Legislative Services. Hey, isn't Albo a member of the Crime Commission? Why would he suggest such a thing?

partisandwich

"If local governments do it, it's their money and the GA can't do a thing to redistribute it."

As far as I'm concerned, this is the crux of the issue. Quibble with the collection methods if you want, but the NVTA was ultimately about giving Northern Virginia the power to generate its own revenue to fund transportation projects, a goal I wholeheartedly support. Every time you route transportation funding through Richmond, you're giving the GA a chance to water down and / or delay the project (which is as inevitable as the tides, let's be honest.) Northern Virginia is growing as a single urban center, and it needs more municipal-like autonomy, not less. That includes the power to fund its own construction projects. For the record, also, I find the issue about the NVTA being an "unelected body" a little spurious, since by definition all members of the NVTA are either directly elected or appointed by elected individuals. In other words: whether it's the local jurisdictions themselves or a regional body empowered by the local jurisdictions, I see this taxation argument as being a secondary issue, sort of like I see the Tysons Metro underground-overground issue as a secondary issue--and since all NoVA transportation projects seem to have been essentially quashed for now, I'd say we can officially declare that the forest has been sacrificed for the trees.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Apparently someone thinks my ideas are good enough to pull out the homo card.

I feel vindicated already...I've obviously struck some nerve...

That's really big and so so smart of you, Anon 11:10, you coward pig.

As far as NJH & partisandwich's points about preference for locally raised and spent revenue, again, if the monies are already being raised by statewide taxation, it should not be necessary to insist on new taxation specific to one part of the state.

You yourselves have acknowledged that this is due to the flaws in the distribution formulas and the legislature stepping into the monies and interrupting budgeted priorities for the latest fire....

Well, so the solution is to create new taxing authority?

Fix what's broken. If you try to avoid dealing with the real problem, it's again abdicating the responsibilities of the SWORN office.

Pa Nhia Vang

i think gasoline prices are too much!! they really need to lower the gasoline prices for real! people loose their f**** jobs too much!! WTF is wrong with them peoples!

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