58°Partly Cloudy

Arlington Tax Bill, Capitol Gun Ban on Life Support in Richmond

by ARLnow.com January 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm 2,474 30 Comments

Arlington’s top legislative priority is on life support in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

As expected, the renewal of a hotel tax surcharge that is responsible for generating Arlington’s nearly $1 million per year tourism promotion budget was all-but-killed in a House subcommittee this morning. The bill, introduced by Arlington’s Del. Bob Brink (D), was passed by indefinitely — meaning the House version dead unless a member who voted against it changes his or her mind.

An identical bill introduced by Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple passed the Senate last week, however, meaning that the tax renewal will get another shot in House committee. It’s yet to be seen whether the outcome will be any different.

Other bills by Arlington lawmakers have met with mixed results.

A bill from Del. Patrick Hope (D) that would have banned guns in Virginia’s Capitol building and the General Assembly Building has been passed by indefinitely.

Another bill from Hope, which would have dramatically raised the state tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, has also failed.

Two bills introduced by Del. Brink have managed to pass the Republican-controlled House, however. The bills “address the irregularities discovered during the signature gathering process” for last year’s failed effort to change Arlington’s form of government.

One bill, HB 1646, calls for the name and address of a petition signature gatherer to be present on both sides of the petition form. The other bill, HB 1670, says that “a notary shall not perform any notarial act… that presents a conflict between his personal interest and his official duty.”

One bill passed unanimously, the other passed with only one ‘no’ vote. They will now be taken up by the Democratic-controlled state Senate.

  • Lou

    So, nobody from Arlington went down to defend the hotel tax request? Sad. That would have been some good theater.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      As I recall, Del Hugo wanted someone from Arlington to go down to Richmond to explain/defend the HOT lanes lawsuit – which also would have made good theatre.

      • Lou

        Yeah, it was the same issue.

  • Brendan

    Arlington delegates should introduce a bill that requires state tax receipts be spent within the geographic area from which they are collected.

    Unfortunately can’t find the #s on redistribution on a state/local level but pretty sure they follow the national pattern where states like CT get less than 80 cents back for every dollar they pay while rural and depressed states like Idaho get $4 back.

    The current form of redistribution is blatant socialism.

    • Lou

      Would that mean north Arlington tax revenue will not help support south Arlington?

      • KalashniKEV

        I would also like to make it so our taxes only benefit ourselves… for example I could pay my share for all those ROADS the Libbies are always shouting about, and since I have no kids or pets, and I’m not a Bum or a public makeout exhibitionist, I would not have to pay for those things.

        In fact, lets get rid of a whole lot of the taxes we pay and just keep the money. Makes sense, no?

        • Lou

          Like they say in Cairo, where there is a will, there is a way.

    • mehoo

      You realize that taxes are spent on stuff, right?

      • water slides for doggies, choo choo trains, art venues for the rich and depraved and bath houses.

      • Brendan

        thanks, i get that.

        I’m simply saying that the ‘conservatives’ running Richmond are full of it. Not sure why they champion the redistribution of wealth away from prosperous areas and meddle in local issues, for better or worse, while claiming to be conservatives.

        • mehoo


      • johnny b

        With the 2 million wasted so far on the ‘lawsuit’ arl could have financed the tourism budget for th

        • johnny b

          hmmm must have an autosubmit problem.

          With the 2 million wasted so far on the ‘lawsuit’ arl could have financed the tourism budget for three years.

          Arlington is getting rewarded for its ‘unique’ actions….such as being the only county in the state that tried to opt out of the ‘secure communities act’.

          Maybe if Arl rejoined the State instead of always trying to be an ‘island’, they wouldn’t have these issues.

  • LPS4DL

    How sad that the VA legislature continues to support the wrong side of important issues. The tax for Arlington helps the whole state. Allowing guns in the state capitol is absurd. Tobacco kills more than even guns and alcohol in the commonwealth and raises health care expenses for all of us. Tax it to death.

    • KalashniKEV

      I couldn’t possibly disagree with you more. All of the above are victories for Freedom over tyranny. If you want to get taxed into the grave and have your life dictated to you, move to California.

      • mehoo

        So you are for legalization of any and all drugs too, I presume.

        • KalashniKEV

          Yes. I am.

          • mehoo

            As long as you’re consistent.

  • wrcdc

    Secede, northern VA.

    • BoredHouseWife

      Where will the rest of the state get its moneys?

  • Real World Economics

    Virginia is not a state. It is a COMMONWEALTH. The commonwealth concept is based on the concept of “the common good”. Therefore, the revenue collected by the Commonwealth is used for “the common good” of the Commonwealth.

    • Lacy Forest

      In the United States, the term “Commonwealth” has no legal or constitutional meaning. In the time of John Locke, it meant a nation governed by its people and not a king or monarch, but now, as it refers to US states, it’s just flowery language.

    • Brendan

      sounds like socialism!

      • Lou

        I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

        • brendan

          so·cial·ism   [soh-shuh-liz-uhm] –noun
          1. anything you disagree with.

    • mehoo

      Virginia is a state.

      The term “commonwealth” when referring to states is a historical fragment with no legal meaning.

  • charlie

    lacyforest: Not so fast. Virginia is a Commonwealth in its legal structure and our laws were written (back then) to reflect that. While it may not be the case today, these laws were written by people who at the time were influenced by Elizabethian law — much like the handful of other states that are also “Commonwealths”. The majority of the laws on how Virginia is structured and based are from the days of our creation as a Commonwealth and the philosophy then of a “commonwealth.”

    • mehoo

      Name a few of those laws, that are completely different from other state laws, that have to do with Virginia being a “commonwealth,” please. Tell us how Virginia government is structured differently too.

  • charlie

    well i’ve been told.
    this is the best I can do:

  • mehoo

    It means the same thing as “republic” – and as the article says, it’s a direct translation of that word. All states in the U.S. are republics. There’s no legal difference between a state and a commonwealth.


Subscribe to our mailing list