“10 to 15 Percent Off the Top”

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has introduced a new argument into the debate over the Republican transportation package: The cost of collecting the fees and taxes proposed by the General Assembly could run $80 million a year.

Reports Tom Holden with the Virginian-Pilot: “Kaine said administrative costs accompany all forms of taxation, but the unusually large number of fees associated with the transportation bill could take ’10 to 15 percent’ off the top of the roughly $800 million raised statewide.”

If the Governor’s “back of the envelope” calculations are close to correct — it will be interesting to see how vigorously the Republicans contest his numbers — the high cost of collecting the revenues constitute one more reason for killing the transportation-financing scheme.

In an address to the Hampton Roads Partnership, Kaine also said he would likely propose more than 100 amendments to fix “technical and some glaring” mistakes in the bill. According to Holden, the Governor predicted that none of the proposed changes would kill the bill.

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3 responses to ““10 to 15 Percent Off the Top””

  1. rodger provo Avatar
    rodger provo

    The GOP transportation plan
    now before Gov. Tim Kaine
    provides for 16 new fees and taxes
    for Virginia businesses and residents.

    It is estimated that 40% of the
    traffic on our interstates is from
    other states and countries.

    We have one of the lowest gas taxes
    on the East Coast.

    This bill does need to die for it
    is expensive to manage and it gives
    a tax break to non Virginia businesses
    and residents who use our roads,
    while placing a greater
    burden on state businesses and
    residents to fund our needs.

    Go figure, that the GOP would turn
    such a trick on us.

  2. Ray Hyde Avatar

    I think this is a general problem with fee based systems. “User Pays” is a great idea until we find out that it costs more than an equivalent amount of general taxtion.

    Nobody likes the idea of throwing money into a box without knowing that when it comes out they will get something proportional to what they put in.

    I don’t see that it is any different a problem if you are just throwing user fees into the box instead of taxes: except it costs more.

  3. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Of course everyone assumes that VDOT’s costs for 9000+ state employees is efficient and frugal.

    I dunno if it is or is not but locally we got a hint of it when it was determined that significant costs were associated with VDOT’s review of locally-funded new construction.

    But yes – I did to agree. The administrative costs of these new taxes cannot be zero.

    As much as Conservatives think that Chichester violated their core principles about taxation – isn’t it ironic that THEIR response was .. not only more taxes masquerading as “fees” but, MORE government.. more employees to administer these new “fees”.

    At the end of the day – it would have been easier and more frugal to simply raise the gas tax – a simple computer change.. than all this convoluted machinations to demonstrate to voters that the R’s in Va are “truly” opposed to higher taxes.

    I’m betting that unless Kaine screws up.. that in the fall, that voters – especially those in NoVa and HR/TW and other “purpleizing” areas are going to see the Republican handiwork for what it is – avoidance of responsibility to deal with realities…

    I think folks in the urbanizing areas are becoming less and less tolerant of idealogical approaches to government. They DO like conservative principles but not their implementations…..

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