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County Board Approves Legislative Priorities

by Katie Pyzyk — December 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm 2,124 22 Comments

The County Board has approved a revised list of legislative priorities for the 2013 General Assembly session. As anticipated, the focus is to reverse some of the funding cuts Arlington has experienced in recent years.

Board members first presented a draft of the priorities at November’s Board meeting, noting that balancing the state budget will prove to be a major issue. Board members requested that the state restore at least some of the $7.2 million that was cut between fiscal year (FY) 2008 and FY 2013 to balance the state budget.

One of the major areas the members hope to receive funding is for transportation. The Board wishes to secure funding for new projects as well as some for maintenance of existing modes of transit.

Arlington is also seeking the power to collect local transient occupancy (hotel) taxes from online travel companies like Expedia and Orbitz, and asking that state legislators “oppose any state mandates to localities requiring local law enforcement officers to evaluate the immigration status of individuals encountered during lawful stops or other routine police activities.”

Other priorities include housing, human services and the environment.

Since November’s meeting, county staff members have been collecting public recommendations for changes or additions to the draft. Based on those suggestions, those of Board members and a work session with the Arlington General Assembly delegation, eight changes were made. Among those legislative requests:

  • Requesting that Virginia pass a law in order to join the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Program, which allows the collection of local sales tax on internet and mail order sales.
  • Requesting that transportation funding formulas not be adjusted in a way that reduces revenue to Northern Virginia
  • Requiring nursing homes and long-time care facilities to have auxiliary power generators and adequate emergency sheltering and evacuation plans

The Board unanimously approved the legislative priorities.

This year’s General Assembly session begins on January 9, 2013 and is scheduled to last for 45 days.

  • Zimmie the Hutt

    I want all ethics laws repealed.

    And, feed me.

  • Priorities

    1. Needless crap
    2. Trolley
    3. Bocce
    4. Swim center
    5. Bum mansion

    • Hollywood

      “Requesting that Virginia pass a law in order to join the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Program, which allows the collection of local sales tax on internet and mail order sales.”

      Why is not a priority to NOT allow the collection of local sales tax from internet purchases?????

      • drax

        Do you want to abolish the sales tax?

        • Hollywood

          That would be a good start. But what I was really saying before you decided to create the straw man was that the board’s priority should be to help the citizens keep more of their money, not thinking of ways to forcibly extract it from us more easily.

          • Josh S

            Far better idea to raise the sales tax and decrease income taxes.

          • SmallBizOwner

            I’m positively delighted to see this- on an apples to apples basis small businesses get killed by mega-online retailers in part because off the tax issue. Lowering the difference by 5-7% in sales taxes gives me a chance to compete for business based on customer service and timing (I still will be a bit more expensive because of volume but you get your product today…)

            (small biz hat off) As a tax payer I’m very comfortable on more taxation being based on consumption of durables- don’t want to pay the tax? Don’t buy the good you don’t need anyway… Also, it’s ridiculous that these companies are just pocketing an increasing share of our local tax revenue.

          • drax

            The board’s priority should be running a good government. Sometimes that requires lowering certain taxes, sometimes raising them.

      • No one

        Because applying a sales tax across state lines is unconstitutional for a lack of nexus. See Quill Corp. v. North Dakota.

        Of course, the county board wants the ability to apply a sales tax on internet purchases…makes perfect sense. They like to spend our money.

        And, many people seem to understand the need for states with sales tax to apply the sales tax to internet purchases

        BUT, from a business perspective, there are something to the effect of 7,000 different entities that apply sales tax to purchases at varying rates. If everyone did what the county board wants most small business would be out of business because they would spend all their time doing compliance and not running their business.

        So, i am against any form of internet sales tax because once states are constitutionally allowed to tax internet sales (would only require a law change by congress) everyone and there mother would be clamoring for the right.

    • drax

      Time for an UPRISING!

  • Darth Zim

    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

  • bender

    If the County has an extra couple hundred million to throw away on luxuries, then the state ought to CUT funding to the County by that much.

    • bobbytiger

      Bingo!

  • Enough Already

    Term limits for these knuckleheads should be #1 and mental counseling for people who continue to vote for them over & over.

    • Novasteve

      You’re going to be accused of being me.

  • Homeowner

    And, in other late breaking news, the Arlington County Board’s legislative priorities were pronounced Dead on Arrival by the Virginia Legislature…

  • Keith

    Good luck with all that Arlington. The enlightened, thoughtful and intelligent majority of voters in Virginia have decided to not go in your direction.

    • John K

      Disagree though I might with Arlington’s Board on a number of occasions… I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse the majority of voters in VA as being thoughtful and intelligent. Numerous enough to weasel funds out of NoVA and the Tidewater, yes (while bad-mouthing “big government” no less), but not thoughtful and intelligent.

    • TCE

      … and that’s why the enlightend, thoughtful, and intelligent majority of voters in Virginia decided to vote for Obama.

      It’s always a laugh when a minority voter slanders the majority voters for not voting like them.

  • Hank Hill

    1. raise taxes
    2. amensty for illegals
    3. abolish cars
    4. Spainsh as the offical langauge

  • LPS4DL

    1. Repeal the “Right to work” law.
    2. Eliminate caps on lawsuit damages
    3. Repeal the Dillon Rule.
    4. Increase the gas tax and index it for inflation and fuel efficiency.

    • Arlingtonian

      1. Fund the Columbia Pike trolley.
      2. Fund the daytime homeless shelter in Courthouse.
      3. Fund two, three or four new aquatic centers.
      4. Tax the rich (defined as anyome making more money than the Chair of the County Board).
      5. Fund affordable housing for tje undocumented (politically incorrect definition: illegal aliens)
      6. Fund a secret tunnel connecting the Commonwealth’s treasury in Richmond with Arlington, allowing only northbound traffic.

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