Friday, February 29, 2008

Bob Marshall Defeats NVTA!!!

When Bob Marshall sued the state over the unconstitutionality of the NVTA taxing authority, a lot of people ridiculed him. Well, it appears he has the last laugh.

From the Potomac News, "Court Rules Unconstitutional northern Va. taxing authority":

A regional authority created by the General Assembly to levy taxes for northern Virginia transportation projects is unconstitutional, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

In a unanimous opinion, the court said legislators improperly delegated taxing powers to the unelected members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. The ruling invalidates about $300 million in bonds financed by the taxes.

Justice Bernard S. Goodwyn wrote that “the General Assembly has failed to adhere to the mandates of accountability and transparency that the Constitution requires when the General Assembly exercises the legislative taxing authority permitted by the Constitution.”

Unanimous. The State Constitution requires that taxes be raised by elected officials. Instead, the NVTA was populated with people who were not elected to their positions, and have no accountability. Worse, many of the members were not elected to ANY body.

In fact, in a slap to Prince William County, Governor Kaine appointed to one of the slots Sharon Pandak, who has been soundly rejected TWICE to represent the people of our county.

So for now, we are protected from about three hundred million dollars in unconstitutional tax increases. Of course, that's $300 million worth of roads we won't get -- oh wait, that's right, a majority of the tax money was NOT going to build roads anyway.

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