In Praise of Kaine’s Economic Development Team

I have never hesitated to criticize Gov. Tim Kaine for his budgetary policy, but now that he’s gone, I must give him and his economic development team credit for work well done. The inspiration for this sudden generosity of spirit on my part comes from IBM’s “Global Location Trends” annual report, published in October 2009, which I’ve just gotten around to reading.

IBM draws upon its global database of 80,000 corporate investment deals recorded since 2003. The 2009 report summarizes corporate investment flows in 2008, the year that marked the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis. Globally, investment activity declined 25% from the year before, as one might expect from the worst recession since the 1930s. The United States fared well, ranking No. 2 in the world after India, as investors sought countries with stable business environments.

The good news for Virginians is that ye olde Dominion was the second hottest destination for inward investment in North America that year, exceeded only by the province of Ontario. (Virginia had ranked 10th continent-wide the year before.) Here’s the IBM chart:

(Click on image to enlarge.)


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75 responses to “In Praise of Kaine’s Economic Development Team”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Any breakdown as to where in Virginia this job growth has occurred? Just curious.

    TMT

  2. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    No breakdown in the IBM report. For details, go to http://www.yesvirginia.org and peruse the press releases touting the latest economic development triumphs.

  3. Groveton Avatar

    It looks to me like the 7,000 jobs represents a gross number. In other words, it is jobs added without regard to jobs lost.

    In regard to Northern Virginia – I believe that any job gains have been made despite Tim Kaine rather than because of him.

    Many of us in Northern Virginia believe that Tim Kaine represented everything this is wrong in Virginia government. His Richmond-centric insular and opaque approach to governance was a disaster. His inability to address the transportation issue in any meaningful way hindered our ability to attract more new jobs. His AWOL attitude to the Commonwealth over the last 6 months of his term was disgraceful. Finally, his gutless decision to suspend the education allocation formula reeked of the same stench that has filled our nostrils for decades. It's the stench of smoke filled back office deals consummated by slippery back office dealers.

    In fact, The Roanoke Times agrees:

    http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/233167

    I have long predicted that a financial crisis in Virginia would provide the tinder to spark a revolution against the entrenched and shadowy psuedo-government in Richmond. Terry McAuliffe started the fight against the status quo with his campaign. Scott Surovell and, to a lesser extent, Chap Petersen have started speaking out against the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the Richmond elite. Now, as I have hoped, other areas outside NoVa are starting to see the light. I had always guessed that it would be Tidewater but I am just as happy to see Roanoke check in on the side of fairness.

    We have begun to put the torch to the ruling elite in Richmond. Our own politicians are finally starting to speak out. We are finding non-Richmond allies. The 2010 Census and 2011 redistricting are coming. All of us who have suffered under the yoke of Richmond's oppression hope and believe that Tim Kaine will be the very last of a dying breed – the slimy Richmond insider operating in a position of power from behind the Wizard's curtain.

  4. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Am all in favor of growth in Virginia and glad you are creditting Kaine. But I wonder about the chart. Ohio is a growth center? I find that hard to believe but maybe they mean places like Columbus.
    Peter Galuszka

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Groveton – I agree with your analysis of what goes wrong in Virginia, but the bad guys, IMO, are the not those RoVA senators and delegates who fleece Fairfax County, but those senators and delegates who willing vote against the best interests of their constituents. In other words, the people we vote for vote to send more dollars south, for pennies in return.

    The other villains are the clowns at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Board of Trade who encourage our delegates and senators to vote against their constituents and even the trade organizations' dues-paying members. For example, Bill Lecos led the fight for local votes for Mark Warner's 2004 tax increase that cost Fairfax residents and businesses net $107 million the first year, while Fairfax County Public Schools received an additional $7 million in new state funding (additional sales tax revenues less a decrease in state aid due to the additional tax increase revenues). Meanwhile the next fiscal year, 49 Virginia cities and counties were able to reduce their local tax support for public schools. Of course, Fairfax County taxpayers paid a higher real estate bill too.

    I've been told by the CEO of a significant company who quit the Chamber, that this is a form of payoff to RoVA, to keep their senators and delegates willing to kill any legislation that could restrict development in Fairfax County.

    Unless we start taking care of our own interests, the addition of more senators and delegates for Fairfax County won't make any difference.

    TMT

  6. Groveton Avatar

    TMT:

    The times they are a changin' …

    Del Surovell seems to get it:

    http://scottsurovell.blogspot.com/2009/12/richmonds-attack-on-middle-class.html

    Before this crisis is over there will be many more NoVa politicians with Scott's attitude.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Groveton – that would be good. I like to tell people that residents of other parts of Virginia have their own senator and delegate. They should get mine also.

    It would also be interesting to know the ratios of state college employees that just "administrate" today versus ten and twenty years ago. I'd bet you a cup of coffee, that all of our taxpayer-funded colleges have added considerable admnistrative positions that don't teach or do fundamental research. Cut, cut, cut.

    TMT

  8. yes.. it's a little hypocritical to blame the "RoVa Clown Circus" in Richmond while ignoring the fact that your own elected seem to vote as confederates in the clown camp…. no?

    I say – don't blame people… fix the problem FIRST in your own area.

    If nothing else, you can feel proud that you elected folks who DID represent your interests.

  9. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG:

    For the record, I refer to the General Assembly as the "clown show in Richmond" not the "RoVa clown circus in Richmond". This is intentional:

    1. The representatives from NoVa and Tidewater are as prone to have red rubber balls taped to their noses and bells on the toes of their oversized shoes as the representatives from anywhere else.

    2. The term "circus" implies a level of organization and operating philosophy well beyond what we get from Virginia's General Assembly. "Show" is the most credit I can consider extending to the GA.

  10. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG:

    Also, please remember ….

    1. It was not the NoVa state legislators who alons voted in an unconstitutional transportation bill. It was the entire GA.

    2. It was not the NoVa state legislators who alone voted in the abusive driver fees only to almost immediately repeal the law. It was the entire GA.

    3. It was not the NoVa state legislators who alone watched a full scale recession put Virginia into a serious deficit position without taking any effective action to address the matter. It was the Richmond-based governor and the entire GA.

    4. It is not the NoVa state legislators who alone are presiding over 20% unemployment in Martinsville for least 10 years. It is several governors and several generations of the entire GA.

    5. It is not NoVa state legislators alone who cannot implement a straight forward outsourcing contract. It is several governors and several generations of the entire GA.

    6. It is not NoVa state legislators alone who failed to provide adequate safeguards over the state's mandatory prescription records database allowing private data to be hacked and the state held for ransom by the hackers. It was the Richnond-based governor and the entire GA.

    7.It is not the NoVa state legislators who allowed a German citizen convicted of murdering two people in Virginia to return to Germany in order to lighten his sentence. It was the Richmond based governor.

    8. It was not the NoVa state legislators who used their legislative position to connive a "job for funding" scam with ODU. That was Tidewater delegate Phil Hamilton.

    Our state government is a disaster.

  11. Groveton Avatar

    Seen on a tee shirt (under a picture of Tim Kaine):

    "I was governor for four years and all I got was this lousy smoking ban.".

    Precious.

    Seen on a bumper sticker –

    The United States of America
    Born: July 4, 1776
    Died: Jan. 20, 2009
    Cause of death: Suicide

    Priceless.

  12. well I see that Groveton has gone over to the "dark side" here.

    too bad…..

    Not blaming 3202 on NoVa legislators is RICH. How about a list of NoVa legislators who were saying "NO NO – we don't want that abomination!"

    Zilch Mr. Groveton. They want the money even if it was butt ugly.

    they were thoroughly IN THAT GAME – dude.

    Show me the "no" votes from NoVa.

  13. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG

    "It was not the NoVa state legislators who alone voted for …"

    What does not alone mean to you?

    To me it means that they were not the only politicians casting votes for something. It implies that they voted "yes" but were joined in their "yes" vote by others. Hence, they were not alone.

    Well, I am sure this is a sad night for you and your ilk. Teddy's seat has been lost to Scott Brown. Let's see, that's two governors (out of two) and one US Senator (out of one) that Tim Kaine and Barack Obama's Democratic Party has lost over the last two months. God only knows how many more will fall in November of 2010 – just 10 short months away.

    LarryG – Are you getting the feeling that the American people are pretty much rejecting the policies and practices of your liberal left?

    During the Obama campaign I heard someone say that Obama was the Manchurian Candidate. At first I thought that was crazy. Now I think it's very sane. Obama is the Manchurian Candidate although his pre-programming was not performed by the Communist Chinese. No, Barry's pre-programming was performed by Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. They created a stumbling, bumbling uber liberal who would restore Republican conservatism for another 30 years.

    They say it took a Carter to create a Reagan. Well, maybe it will take an Obama to create a …

    Superhero?
    God like creature?
    Omnipotent patriarch?
    Messiah?

    Who knows? If the incompetence of the prior president is directly correlated to the greatness of the next president we might witness the second coming of Jesus himself in the next election.

    I hope all you people on this blog have been going to church.

  14. Groveton Avatar

    Another NoVa legislator speaking out and writing about the hypocrisy of the clown show in Richmond.

    http://oxroadsouth.com/2010/01/19/fighting-the-lci-freeze-on-the-senate-floor-2.aspx

    Both Surovell and Petersen are directly attacking the Democratic ex-governor of Virginia, the new head of the Democratic National Party. Both Surovell and Petersen are Democrats.

    The times they are a changin'

  15. I notice that the Republicans are forcing a floor vote on Kaine's proposal for a 1% increase in the income tax.

    If not mistaken, this money was going to go directly to each locality – in effect – a dedicated local tax that the state would not be grabbing.

    This is an interesting proposition.

    Get rid of the car tax and replace it with an income tax.

    I think this was inevitable back when Gilmore first did this.

    sooner or later, the State would find itself in a position where the "reimbursement" would be put on the chopping block during leaner times.

    the real question here is – how do the localities want to handle this revenue source if it comes back to them?

    Would it be better to have a onerous tax on used autos or a 1% local income tax?

    Perhaps JB would write a separate BLOG on this…. as it really does get to tax & spend issues … and Groveton's favorite subject "home rule".

    From my point of view – devolving local roads to the localities and giving them the ability to have a 1% income tax is moving towards a virtual equivalent of home rule – no?

  16. Groveton Avatar

    The 1% tax was yet another ineffective Democratic stunt from Tim Kaine. He could have proposed the tax hike at any time during his 3.5 year term (I can't count the last 6 months when he was absent without leave). Instead, he waited until the moving vans were in front of Governor's mansion. Then he tried to make McDonnell squirm by proposing a tax hike so that McDonnell would have to find spending cuts roughly equal to the tax hike immediately after taking office.

    But Timmy has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer. McDonnell and the gang turned the tables on the ghost of lousy governors past and demanded a vote in the House of Delegates. The Republicans will vote the bill down. However, every sitting Democrat in the House will have to make a choice – vote "yes" on a tax hike and deal with that decision in November 2011. Or, vote "no" and repudiate Tim Kaine while providing de-facto agreement with McDonnell's budget cuts to come.

    Like I said, Timmy was never the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    Get rid of the car tax and replace it with an income tax.

    I'd takeit in a heart beat. Even if it meant I paid more in taxes, at least I could see that I got charged the same amount intaxes for the same income as the next guy.

    With the car tax, a guy with an identical make and model might have a car worth twice as much as mine, but I would pay the same tax.

    I'll take fair over cheap, any time. Besides an income tax is automtically indexing – both up and down. If they made the gas tax per dollar instead of per gallon, it would be automatically indexing too.

    Now all we need is a state budget that is automatically indexed: Education at 24%%, security at 15%, Administration at 7.5%…..

    Let each taxpayer put his preferred distribution on his tax form, and let the results be published.

    Legislature can still do whatever thye want, but it might be hard to justify going too far against what the taxpayers want. This would eliminate the conudrum that Groveton describes.

    RH

  18. Anonymous Avatar

    It would be interesting to work out how much a 1% income tax works out to compared to, say a 5% gas tax increase.

    Larry argues against people paying for what they don't use (with the exception of schools) and hence his otherwise irrational propmotion of toll roads.

    But an income tax would mean everyone pays for new infrastructure required "as a result of the new guys". Even a gas tax has a better nexus to users than this idea.

    RH

  19. Anonymous Avatar

    "LarryG – Are you getting the feeling that the American people are pretty much rejecting the policies and practices of your liberal left?"

    ————————–
    Gee Groveton.

    What policies (legislation) have been enacted, yet?

    What practices have been taken that were not pretty well dictated by the situation left to him?

    Obama was left with a situation pretty much like Haiti: nothing works, trying to multiply by zero, undoing a disaster that will take years to fix, and trying to establish a government that is willing and able to do something, all the while dealing with the Republicans who are rioting in the streets, because they prefer the previous disaster over the present one.

    John Kerry described this as a circular firing squad.

    RH

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    "sooner or later, the State would find itself in a position where the "reimbursement" would be put on the chopping block during leaner times."

    ——————————-

    Good, that is the way it should be. Conservatives could help ease that sistuation by allowing the state to create a larger rainy day fund during good times.

    Instead, they argue agains THAT as excess taxation (instead of recognizing it as conservative fiscal policy), so they demand tax cuts. Then when times are bad, they demand spending cuts.

    Lets cut to the chase, Cut taxes to zero, and turn every government agency into a tax exempt charity. Let them take their pleas for funding, and their description of the needs, straight to the people.

    When they call the police or fire department and get an out of service message, when they are driving on gravel roads, when there are only priovate schools an dno vouchers, maybe they will wake up.

    RH

    RH

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    "But an income tax would mean everyone pays for new infrastructure required "as a result of the new guys". Even a gas tax has a better nexus to users than this idea."

    ——————————-

    Roads primarily benefit the economy. IF there are beneficiaries of road construction who are not road users, then an income tax would mean that they at least pay their share as beneficiaries, if not as users.

    We also know that those people who use the roads most, and drive the biggest heaviest veicles aree the same people who earn the mnost money, so there is an argument to be made that the nexus between income tax and road usage is not as bad as it first seems.

    RH

  22. the income tax – BTW – has been an available option to NoVa for a number of years and they have not availed themselves of it so that folks like Groveton can continue to blame problems on others rather than take personal responsibility.

    but here's the answer to your question:

    in NoVa – a 1% income tax would bring in 377 million a year.

    Statewide a 1% income tax would bring in 2.3 billion a year.

    http://www.nvta.org/content.asp?contentid=1188

    the way that Kaine proposed this was to essentially allow each locality to keep it's share but as I said.. NoVa has already has this option and chose not to use it.

    My view is – NoVa could have done this years ago… got rid of the car tax and used the income tax but they chose instead to whine to Richmond about their money being "stolen" and not being allowed to determine their own destiny.

    Another option would be to allow localities to have a 1% option sales tax for transportation similar to what is offered right now for VRE.

    There are solutions… none of them involve less taxes…

    the question for NoVa and Groveton is …do you want to put your money where your mouth is – or just continue to blame others for what you won't do yourself?

    Mark my words. This is going to be the deal that McDonnell ultimately offers in lieu of "no tax increase".

    He will offer the option for localities to do it.

    any bets?

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    Policy – Increase in GDP Increasing Aid to the Unemployed
    (low estimate) (High Estimate)
    0.7 1.9
    Reducing Employers' Payroll Taxes 0.4 1.2
    Reducing Employers' Payroll Taxes for Firms That Increase Their Payroll
    0.4 1.3
    Reducing Employees' Payroll Taxes 0.3 0.9
    Providing an Additional One-Time Social Security Payment
    0.3 0.9
    Allowing Full or Partial Expensing of Investment Costs
    0.2 1
    Investing in Infrastructuree
    0.5 1.2
    Providing Aid to States for Purposes Other Than Infrastructure
    0.4 1.1
    Providing Additional Refundable Tax Credits for Lower- and Middle-Income Households in 2011
    0.3 0.9
    Extending Higher Exemption Amounts for the Alternative Minimum Tax
    0.1 0.4
    Reducing Income Taxes in 2011
    0.1 0.4

    Source – GAO

    These policies are all at the national level, but we can presume that similar policies would have similar reults at thelocal level.

    Increaing GDP by cutting spending is not an option.

    RH

  24. Anonymous Avatar

    THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE
    AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/100113-economic-impact-arra-second-quarterly-report.pdf

    You have to consider the source, but still…….

    RH

  25. List of countries by tax revenue as percentage of GDP

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_revenue_as_percentage_of_GDP

    what's that theory again about taxes and GDP?

    saaaayyyyy this looks like a good fit for Groveton:

    Equatorial Guinea 1.7

  26. Groveton Avatar

    I personally don't have a problem (conceptually) with higher state taxes.

    I have a serious problem with a General Assembly in a state with a strict implementation of Dillon's Rule telling the local governments that they should tax themselves for what they need. First, you'll notice that all local taxes go through Richmond. The hell with that. If we're going to tax ourselves for what we need Richmond doesn't touch the money. Second, the totally warped existing system is not addressed. We continue to get robbed but should then tax ourselves extra so that maybe, possibly we'll get the money back from Richmond.

    No chance.

    I would much rather let the crisis deepen until Richmond either offers us a square deal or the residents of Northern Virginia sign a petition asking the Federal government to combine NoVa with DC and the Maryland's DC suburbs into the 51st state.

    These plans from Richmond are as hollow as a liberal's head.

  27. but Groveton – you've had the right to tax yourself for some time now.

    You could have done that and then joyfully jumped on the "no mo tax" RoVa bandwagon and been happy as a clam.

    I think you're wanting it both ways.

    NoVa has more home rule that most all of RoVa… and the ability to get more of it.

    46 other states do their own local roads.

    NoVa had this option and turned it down (save for Alexandria).

    those are crocodile tears guy.

    all this talk about self-reliance is pompous poo….

    when push comes to shove.. NoVa opts out of self reliance and boo hoos about getting shorted their "share"….

    pompous pooosity my good man Groveton.

  28. Groveton Avatar

    "What policies (legislation) have been enacted, yet?".

    Yes, RH – exactly. Nothing has happened in a year of Obama. The Dems own both houses with a super majority in the Senate and they own the White House. A year has passed and nothing has happened except an ill-considered ship wreak of a health care plan.

    This is exactly why people are fed up.

    Obama rocked along the campaign trail making promises about change we can believe in. Instead, we have incompetence and stagnation we should reject. And the voters have rejected that incompetence and stagnation in VA, NJ and MA.

    At this rate, the man will only have three more years to make good on his promises. And … he won't have the same level of power in Congress by the end of this year.

    He's burning daylight and nothing is happening.

    When you promise the moon you have to deliver something. And he understood the situation in the United States while he was making the unrealistic promises on the campaign trail.

    It might be time for an Obama reset. Eat humble pie, admit he over-promised and has, so far, under-delivered and ask that the first year be considered a mulligan.

    I, for one, would welcome that from our president.

  29. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG – still arguing in a fact free environment. NoVa pays out $800M a year more for education than we spend. Meanwhile, the GA hasn't raised the gas tax in cents / gallon since 1986. Your answer is for us to continue to be the GA's doormats and just tax ourselves more so that this rip off can continue. I have a better idea. We'll keep 1/2 of the educational transfer payment and spend it on roads in NoVa.

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    in NoVa – a 1% income tax would bring in 377 million a year.

    Statewide a 1% income tax would bring in 2.3 billion a year.

    ——————————

    Doesn't look right to me.

    By these figures Nova would represent 16.4% of the income tax but by my figures (census figure) they represent 25% of the statewide population. And I didn't count the cities within the counties.

    Based on a weighted average of income and population NOVA counties represent 37% of Statewide income, and when you add in the cities within the counties it is more like 43%.

    We know that more affluent people drive bigger and newer vehicles and drive more miles, so we would expect the gas tax revenues to also proportionately benefit NOVA, as compared to the present system of distribution (whatever that is).

    How much would you have to raise the gas tax to bring in $1.2 billion a year?

    Which tax has a closer nexus to road users?

    Which tax has a closer nexus to road beneficiaires?

    What are the chances that the best and most equitable tax that meets our other requirements, like encouraging less fuel consumption, is met by some combination of the two?

    RH

  31. fact-free environment?

    ha ha ha

    how about a brain-free environment – as in expecting Va to give back to NoVa what it already took…

    ha ha ha

    that's your EXCUSE for not shutting down the outlow conduit from NoVa to Richmond and using your own funds for your own needs?

    so.. instead of doing that.. your strategy is to demand what Richmond owes you.

    ha ha ha baaahaahahah

    you are such a kidder Groveton.

    either that are you are growing some powerfully illegal stuff on that Great Falls estate….

  32. check my source:

    http://www.nvta.org/content.asp?contentid=1188

    this chart is pretty compelling in terms on concept – comparing similar taxes done at the local and state level.

    Those who might doubt it do have the option of pursuing their own data….

    I'd recommend Commonwealth Data Point – but that will only help with the sales and income tax as the fuel tax data is AWOL.

  33. Anonymous Avatar

    "List of countries by tax revenue as percentage of GDP."

    ——————————

    It is only part of the puzzle.

    How much GDP per capita?

    How much GDP per unit of energy?

    How much GDP do you need in Ghana vs Iceland? what is the relation between GDP and standard of living in your local?

    When I was arguing for a higher salary in North Carolina, I would get the response that their cost of living was lower, to which my retort was, "so is your Standard of Living."

    European countries generate less per per pers AND less per unit of enrgy used than the US. Yet, their prouction efficiency in terms of hours worked is as high or higher than ours because they have more holidays, more vacation days, and higher unemployment.

    Some hunter gatherer tribes and subsistence farmers only work a few hours a week, but they get by with a lot less than Americans have.

    Then there is the concept of Gross Domestic Happiness, The concept of Green Bottom Line, or a balance between Economy, Equality, and Environment.

    These ideas seem to have escaped the Eternal Frumps such as Larry, Groveton, and EMR.

    RH

  34. Anonymous Avatar

    "First, you'll notice that all local taxes go through Richmond. The hell with that. If we're going to tax ourselves for what we need Richmond doesn't touch the money. "

    Good points.

    Collect and distribute the monies the most efficient way with the least overhead.

    Does that mean running identical tax collection systems for every county with overhead for every county?

    Or does it mean one collection system compained with a fair, non-partisan, nonpolitical distribution system?

    RH

  35. Anonymous Avatar

    "Yes, RH – exactly. Nothing has happened in a year of Obama."

    Thanks to a uniform boycott by Republicans. Why is this Obabmas fault?

    So far he has basically continued initiatives from the previous administrations, including two wars. Obama may not turn out to be blameless, but it is far to early to tell.

    It does look to me as if voters are ticked off about the bank bailouts, and they are taking it aimlessly out on whoever is closest, including the ghost of Ted Kennedy.

    RH

  36. Anonymous Avatar

    When you promise the moon you have to deliver something.

    And, if you expect the, moon then you need to contribute something to the plan.

    Something other than No, that is.

    RH

  37. Anonymous Avatar

    "…he was making the unrealistic promises on the campaign trail."

    And McCain Palin weren't?

    Where would they be with this congress?

    What are campaign trails for, other than laying a pavement of lies, and unrealistic promises?

    RH

  38. Anonymous Avatar

    I checked your figures and it still doesn't look right.

    Gas tax at the pump: 56% from NOVA
    Grantors tax: 47% fromm NOVA
    Sales tax: 68% from NOVA
    Vehicle sales tax 32% from NOVA

    And yet the income tax from NOVA is only 16% from Nova?

    And the wholesale gas tax would only be 5% from Nova?

    Something isn't right: these figures don;t match the population/income/spending satistics.

    Not counting all the other proposed revenue sources that only apply to NOVA.

    RH

  39. Anonymous Avatar

    Wholesale gas tax must be credited to the counties where the wholesale distribution occurs, not where the money actually comes from.

    RH

  40. Retail Sales and Use Tax; increases rate on motor fuels in Northern Virginia. (HB269)

    Introduced By
    Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria)

    Description
    Sales tax on motor fuels in Northern Virginia; increase in rate. Increases the rate of the state sales tax on motor fuels in Northern Virginia from 2.1 percent to 4.2 percent.

    http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2010/hb269/

  41. Groveton Avatar

    The (Re) Education of LarryG:

    When the institutionalized heist known as the education funding formula was implemented it was claimed that the formula could work in both directions. NoVa would pay far more to Richmond than it got back from Richmond but the magnitude of this asymmetric flow could change. One year NoVa might make a bigger transfer payment than the year before but the year after that the amount of the transfer would go down.

    It's all right there in the formulae.

    Just trust Richmond.

    Guess what? It happened. The long standing education formulae call for Fairfax County to keep $60M more of what it raises this year.

    What did Richmond do?

    Tim Kaine decreed that the educational funding formulae generated disbursements should be frozen for a year.

    And you want me to trust Richmond? Send them another 1% of my income so they can send it back to me?

    Are you out of your mind?

    Show me a constitutional amendment to the Virginia constitution granting home rule for transportation in return for locally raised taxes and we'll talk. Until then, anybody from NoVa who trusts anything from Richmond should have their head examined.

  42. you knowwww… Groveton – NoVa already gets 1% of the sales tax directly back from Richmond without them taking a penny of it.

    Same thing with the 2% sales tax on gasoline… right back to you.

    the funds that you don't necessarily get pack in the proportion that you think you should are called formula funds.

    and you are correct about the composite index… the "freeze" really did reveal Richmond's hand and it's cash-cow view of NoVa…

    Now.. less you take an even more skeptical view of ALL politicos.. I pray that McDonnell will do the right thing and not let Richmond rip NoVa any more than they already have.

  43. Anonymous Avatar

    "and you are correct about the composite index… the "freeze" really did reveal Richmond's hand and it's cash-cow view of NoVa… "

    —————————–

    Nuff said, I claim victory on behalf of Groveton.

    There may be good and substantial reason for redistribution of funds in some cases but the bottom line goal still ought to be best value for all citizens, with the winners paying back the losers.

    In this case if the rest of the state benefits in the distribution of education funds, and if the rest of the state has a minimal transporttion crisis relative to NOVA, and since NOVA alrady taxes itself 2% extra (primarily for mass transit), then ROVA hasn't got a lot of room to complain if they have to kick back some education money in the form of transportation money.

    After all, the way it seems to work out, NOVA sends money downstate to educate kids who move to NOVA for jobs — where they then get to participate in the transportation crisis that their parents back home helped create.

    RH

  44. Anonymous Avatar

    Same thing with the 2% sales tax on gasoline… right back to you.

    ——————————-

    It is not the same thing. Nice try though.

    The 2% tax is ONLY paid by NOVA, why shouldn't they get it back.

    The sales tax is what, 4.5%?

    NOVA pays an outsize proportion of that on account of their outsize population and their outsize incomes.

    If they get 1% back on ALL income tax paid, then they are getting an outsize portion of their own money back – on THAT 1%. ROVA, then, must be giving up a relatively smaller portion of that 1%.

    The other 3.5% is also substantially paid by NOVA, and LORD knows how that gets distributed.

    Neither piece is a "bargain" for NOVA.

    RH

  45. Anonymous Avatar

    "Sales tax on motor fuels in Northern Virginia; increase in rate. Increases the rate of the state sales tax on motor fuels in Northern Virginia from 2.1 percent to 4.2 percent. "

    ——————————-

    We knew that would happen. Taxes always go up until the revolution.

    But isn't this tax primarily or entirely for support of mass transit?

    How much of this tax, paid by motorists, actually goes to benefit motorists? Even accounting the "benefit" to motorists of having some drivers use mass transit. I'd wager it is well under a tenpercent ratio of benefits to costs.

    RH

  46. this is the 2% gas tax that provides money for VRE but lets the locality keep any left over and spend on other transportation including roads.

    The determination of what to spend the excess on is up to the local jurisdiction.

    this basically functions just like a local option fuel tax.

    What's not known about McDonnell yet (I think) is whether or not his "no tax" policy includes not letting localities decide if they want that option or not.

    Of course this bill and anything that resembles it may never see the light of day anyhow once it gets sent to the Republican-majority Finance Committee.

  47. Anonymous Avatar

    lets the locality keep any left over and spend on other transportation including roads.

    ——————————

    I think it is VRE, and public transit of all kinds, like buses to the VRE station or Metro stations, etc.

    You let me know the first time any is left over and gets used on roads. Especially in the NOVA non-attainment area.

    Why do you insist on phrasing things so that they are technically true bald faced lies? you think anyone falls for that?

    RH

  48. down in Stafford and Fredericksburg, the excess amount IS spent on roads.

    NoVa can build roads that relieve bottlenecks and congestion – and does.

    The disposition of the excess is up to the locality. they can use it for roads or transit per their choice.

  49. here's one you'll like:

    SB132: Retail Sales and Use Tax; increases distribution to Transportation Trust Fund.

    ….

    " If at the beginning of any fiscal year the Comptroller determines that (i) the growth in general fund revenues is at least three percent, and (ii) the actual dollar increase in general fund revenues is at least equal to the sales and use tax revenue generated by a one-half percent sales and use tax in the immediately preceding fiscal year, then the sales and use tax revenue generated by a one percent sales and use tax (in lieu of a one-half percent sales and use tax) shall thereafter be paid to the Transportation Trust Fund on an ongoing basis "

    sponsored by a R but again may not even make it out of committee.

    Most tax increase bills BTW die in the Republican-controlled committees before they ever have a chance to make it to the Gov desk.. and in this case, he has promised to summarily dispatch it anyhow.

  50. here's your bill:

    Fuels taxes; annually adjusted. (SB343)

    Introduced By
    Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Mount Solon)

    yet another snowball in hades…

  51. " HJ68: Study; tolling of highways; report."

    ….

    " Such plan shall provide that (i) tolls will be collected electronically, without the use of any toll booths or barriers, affording users the unobstructed use of an open road; (ii) the amount of tolls shall be set so as to generate $1 billion annually; (iii)

    revenues generated by such tolls are to be used exclusively for highway construction within the planning district wherein they are generated; (

    iv) tolls may be differentiated between different types and classes of vehicles; (v) construction financed through such tolls shall be dedicated exclusively to the relief of traffic congestion and economic development, based on accepted engineering and economic principles; and (vi) discounts may be permitted for commuters, interstate travelers, and other frequent users."

    interesting that the legislation says "planning district" rather than "VDOT Construction District".

  52. what's this:

    Food and beverage tax; Fairfax County. (HB830)

    Introduced By
    Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax)

    Food and beverage tax; Fairfax County. Adds Fairfax County to those counties that may impose a food and beverage tax

    without a referendum,

    provided the governing body votes unanimously to impose the tax.

    Sounds like leaders in Fairfax don't want to ask their own citizens what they think of this proposed tax.

    you know.. it was my impression that one of the reasons the Virginia Supreme Court shot down the Transportation Authority in 3202 was because the new taxes were not going to require referenda for approval.

    but this proposed law is merely an amendment to the existing Va Code that already permits other counties to impose this tax – without referenda.

    so.. does anyone know what some new taxes REQUIRE referenda and others do not?

    I personally support the referenda but I know that home-rule affectionadoes like Groveton, prefer to have that authority vested in the locality and not granted by the State.

    Part of the philosophy behind the Dillon Rule seems to be that the state does not fully trust localities..and their citizens via elections to make the decisions on their own.

  53. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG:

    you knowwww… Groveton – NoVa already gets 1% of the sales tax directly back from Richmond without them taking a penny of it.

    Same thing with the 2% sales tax on gasoline… right back to you."

    That's true as long as our overseers in Richmond decide to make it true. Just like the education funding formulae were "facts" until Richmond decided they weren't.

    I don't trust Richmond. They have proven their deceit and corruption over and over again.

    The only way I will ever support local taxation for local needs is under a constitutional amendment that guarantees we get to keep our own money.

    Everything else is just more BS from Richmond.

  54. re: state level collection of taxes verses local level collection.

    I think the only one that gets 'adjusted' is the 1% tax that is affected by the composite index though I'll admit I'm somewhat ignorant on all of the sources.

    For instance, you don't really know much about the gasoline tax, nor the sales tax on new cars, nor the 1/2% of the sales tax that goes to transportation.

    but methinks you're swimming up stream on this.

    Can you imagine for each business that they'd have to figure out what part of the tax goes to the state and what part goes to the locality?

    and then all the employees that would have to be hired by the locality to implement and operate such a system?

  55. Anonymous Avatar

    down in Stafford and Fredericksburg, the excess amount IS spent on roads.

    How is that? Safford isn;t even in the NVTC. The 2% tax is only collected in NOVA. fsauquier doesn;t pay it and neither does PW.

    "The Northern Virginia Transportation District includes the counties of Arlington,
    Fairfax, Loudoun; and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church."

    What am I missing?

    RH

  56. Anonymous Avatar

    "How are the taxes used?

    The tax dollars you collect aid in the improvements to the
    public transit system in this area, including Metrorail and
    Metrobus.
    Funds received are provided to the Northern Virginia
    Transportation Commission, which in turn, holds the funds
    in trust for each of its six member cities and counties, based
    upon where the funds are collected.
    Five of the member jurisdictions may use the funds only for
    the operating and capital expenses of the Washington
    Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Loudoun
    may use the funds for any transportation expenses."

    http://www.thinkoutsidethecar.org/mvfst/Motor%20Fuels%20Tax.pdf

    RH

  57. Anonymous Avatar

    This is a study of tolling the highways, not a bill to actually do so.

    I believe without reading the bill that the bullet points you list outline the rules for the study.

    to raise a billion dollars, either tolls will be really high in a few areas, or a lot of area will be covered. Morelikely the former, so as to extract still more money out of NOVA.

    Either way, the billion dollars will be reduced by what it costs to build the automated tolling failities. And you have to figure out what to do with out of staters, cheaters, and people with expired accounts, so enforcement will reduce your net revenue.

    There is simply no way this idea can raise as much usable cash as efficiently or painlessly or fairly as the plain old gas tax. If this study is fairly done, the idea will be canned, because it is a TERRIBLE idea.

    —————————–

    "construction financed through such tolls shall be dedicated exclusively to the relief of traffic congestion and economic development, based on accepted engineering and economic principles;"

    Built in windfall for developers, and proerly so. now all we need to do is recognize that these so-called "windfalls" are nothing of the sort.

    RH

  58. Anonymous Avatar

    "Food and beverage tax; Fairfax County. Adds Fairfax County to those counties that may impose a food and beverage tax "

    Warrenton has such a tax. My wife and I no longer dine out ine Warrenton.

    RH

  59. Anonymous Avatar

    "Can you imagine for each business that they'd have to figure out what part of the tax goes to the state and what part goes to the locality?"

    —————————–

    I think it is called a cash register. I also think the businesses get to keep a part of the reveneu collected as a collection fee. At least they do in Massachusetts.

    This is the problem with infinitely dividing the user fees, as is done in Cook County. At some level it is fair, and at another level it eventually becomes inefficient.

    Where is the right balance? There is nothing wrong withthe state collecting it as long as it is automatically remitted back to the locality without charge. But that, of course, is just the rub.

    Why is it we think the state or locality can run a complex automatic tolling system that bills everybody individually based on weight of vehicle and frequencyof use, but we don;t believe the state can set up an automatic system to make monthly or quarterly payents to the counties?

    RH

  60. About Us

    The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is a transportation partnership of:

    Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC)
    Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC).

    Stafford and Fredericksburg and soon this month, Spotsylvania will be members.

    http://www.prtctransit.org/about-us/commissioners.php

    A huge number of VRE riders come from the Fredericksburg Area guy

  61. " VRE GAS-TAX DETAILS From 2001 to 2008, Fredericksburg collected $9.9 million from the 2 percent gas tax the local government enacted when it became a member of VRE. Of that, $1.1 million went to pay for its share of VRE operations and administrative costs of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, the regional authority set up for commuter rail. The rest was used for local infrastructure projects."

    http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/032009/03082009/449866/index_html

  62. when they say raise a billion dollars – they mean NET after expenses guy

  63. did your meals tax get approved by referenda or BOS vote?

  64. because with toll roads, you would contract out the operations to a company that specializes in that work.

    With taxes – the locality will want to do it through govt.

    there's a difference between who collects the taxes and who they get remitted to.

    A contractor can set up a toll system that does everything but the transaction itself which is very similar to how a debit card would work at a Walmart – i.e. you have an account and a balance and you draw on that account via an electronic transaction.

    Business that collect taxes would have to remit those taxes to someone.

    Right now all businesses remit their taxes to one place – the state tax folks.

    In we did this locally, Fairfax businesses would be sending money to Fairfax, Alexandria to Alexandria, etc…

    every jurisdiction would have to have their own staff to process the taxes.

  65. Anonymous Avatar

    did your meals tax get approved by referenda or BOS vote?

    BOS vote, but they are not my supervisors, and they aren;t getting my money.

    —————————

    "when they say raise a billion dollars – they mean NET after expenses guy"

    That isn't what it says. If they mean a million dollars net, then they should be up front about it and explain that it meeans $2 million gross, (or whatever).

    Otherwise it is a fundamentally dishonest and misleading statement. I expect better from my government. This isn't rocket science, it is simple plain, honest, ethical fair-dealing behavior.

    It isn't too much to ask, but government practitioners and politicians don't seem to get it.

    See Massachusttes election results.

    RH

  66. Anonymous Avatar

    because with toll roads, you would contract out the operations to a company that specializes in that work.

    With taxes – the locality will want to do it through govt.

    ———————————

    Even assuming that gov't is 40% as efficient as the private sector, government still has to contract out to the toll collectors, so you still have lousy government involvement.

    Even assuming government is 40% as effisient as the private sector, collection tolls is 60% more complex and expensive as just collecting taxes, and it is more subject to graft, shady financing, creating other bad policy to protect the toll collectors, etc etc etc.

    Combine the two arguments above and any blithering idiot can see that this is not only a terrible idea, but truly terrible idea.

    What Macquarie and others that "specialize in that work" are actually doing is speculating in derivatives based on the toll road revenues.

    Wake up, before it is too late.

    RH

  67. Anonymous Avatar

    "In we did this locally, Fairfax businesses would be sending money to Fairfax, Alexandria to Alexandria, etc…

    every jurisdiction would have to have their own staff to process the taxes."

    ———————————-

    Yep, thats what happens in Masachusetts. And every citizen gets an annual report that shows where every dime goes.

    You are preaching to the choir. I say collect it the most efficient way, and that means no toll roads.
    No reason why there cannot be a central collection and a transparent and automatic pass through back to the locality.

    But there are problems with this, too.

    I once had a problem with the property tax on my motorcycle in Massachusetts. I got a bill for $1000 when it should have been $10.00.

    The money went to the town, but i couldn't get them to correct the error. It was collected by the state and I couldn't get them to correct the error.

    This went on and on until they finally sent an officer to reposses the motorcycle. I had been wrned to pay up by a certain date or this would happen, so I disassembled the bike and put it in a crate.

    When the officer showed up I showed him a box of parts, and he said "Oh".

    Then the bill finally got fixed. took two years.

    —————————-

    Gotta love Bureaucracy. Sold one of my trucks and asked Margaret to return the tags to DMV, while she was in Warrenton. She went to the clearing desk to drop them off there, but they said she had to take a ticket and wait in line.

    That took an hour.

    When she got to the desk the clerk took the tags and said thank you. 2 seconds. Isn't that why they have the clearing / pre processing desk desk?

    I would have just dropped thme on the floor and left. The rule just says you have to return them to DMV.

    RH

  68. Anonymous Avatar

    In we did this locally, Fairfax businesses would be sending money to Fairfax, Alexandria to Alexandria, etc…

    every jurisdiction would have to have their own staff to process the taxes.

    ——————————-

    And the contractor could do the exact same thing for automatic remittance of taxes — only a thousand times cheaper at a lot fewer locations.

    How about at least trying to make an argument that makes some sense?

    RH

  69. Anonymous Avatar

    "Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission,"

    ——————————-

    Aha. That answers my question: different transportation commission.

    we are both correct. Fairfacx gest NO road money from its contributions to the commission.

    Loudoun county does, and so doed Spotsy, becasue it has a ddifferent agreement with a different commission.

    Hey, doesn't that mean we have two taxing agencies doing the same thing……

    And don;t they have he same problem of deciding which of their member get what remittances, just like the state does……..

    You suppose they have a contractor handling that?

    You think our teerribly inefficient government might have a need to look over the contracors shoulder and make sure moeny isn't disapearing into the ether?

    RH

  70. Anonymous Avatar

    "A huge number of VRE riders come from the Fredericksburg Area guy"

    —————————

    The number of VRE riders is not huge. The number of commuters is huge. Considering the distribution of riders to drivers, the riders are still getting a good deal.

    RH

  71. Anonymous Avatar

    "South Hampton Roads lawmakers push audit of HRT…
    At least five lawmaker from south Hampton Roads are pushing for an audit Hampton Roads Transit after the public transit agency revealed that the Norfolk lightrail project is hemorrhaging money.

    HRT came under fire from Norfolk folks after they found out the project – once supposed to cost $232 million – was already $108 million over budget. The massive costs seriouslyy irked Norfolk City Council and even scared off Virginia Beach leaders who are still mulling whether to connect the rail to the oceanfront.

    The audit is backed by Norfolk Del. Paula Miller along with Dels. Algie Howell, Kenneth Alexander and Lynwood Lewis, and Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk.

    HRT sent out a release embracing the audit, and why not? If folks are going to use the Tide and not simply consider it a boondoogle – they're going to want to know what happened. It's never the scandal that kills you it's the cover up."

    "It won't solve our current problems," Williams said. "But it will tell us what went wrong."

    The Shad Plank.

    RH

  72. Groveton Avatar

    Can you imagine for each business that they'd have to figure out what part of the tax goes to the state and what part goes to the locality?

    Kind of like I have to figure out what I owe the Feds and what I woe Virginia? In fact, I file in about 15 states each year. If that's OK – how is it such a burden to have businesses file in multiple jurisdictions?

  73. it's an interesting question. On one hand – it does appear to generate duplicative and redundant services.

    The state tries hard to encourage localities to cooperate on regional authorities – as a way to cut down on duplication….

    on the other hand… local governments already collect taxes for property, real estate, etc….

    I don't know what home rule jurisdictions do…

    I think there is too much visibility on the locality sales tax for Virginia to cook the books.

    The LCI is grants the state the right to vary the reimbursement rate…

    but think also about the car tax and how that is done.

    The State delivers back to the locality an amount that is supposed to represent the revenues that they'd get from their local registered cars.

    think about what the state has to do – to figure that amount.

    They'd have to have a detailed record of every car and car owner on a per county/city basis…. the compute the tax per car…. at the state level.

    one more – last year Henrico and several other localities found out that the state _was_ messing up the allocation on sales taxes by not correctly discerning the difference between zip code boundaries and jurisdiction boundaries – as they are not the same.

  74. Anonymous Avatar

    I love it.

    Let me pay tax to one jurisdction, my local one, based on what I earn and what I buy.

    Let me kkep what I own until I sell it, in which case the delta becomes what I earn.

    If some higher authority needs oney, let them negotiate with my local jurisdiction, and leave me out of it.

    Why should I, as an individual have todeal with 20 jurisdicitons and 12 kinds of taxes?

    All I HAVE GOT TO PAY with is what comes into my walle t and what goes out.

    My house earns nothing to pay with.

    My car earns nothing to pay with.

    My hay barn that I built from trees by hand earns nothing to pay with, other than what goes through it.

    I believe that too high taxes have bad consequences.

    I believe that too many taxes have bad consequences.

    I believe too many governments have bad consequences.

    I Believe too little taxes have bad consequences.

    I want to avoid bad consequences.

    Give me a break. Listen up folks.

    We all live in Truth or Consequences.

    RH

  75. Anonymous Avatar

    I relly gotta get a new keyboard.

    My apologies for apparent inability to spell.

    RH

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