The Special Tax Session of the General Assembly recessed yesterday after a week in which Governor Tim Kaine's (contact here) massive tax increase plan was defeated 11-4 in the House Rules Committee (including two Democrat votes against) and where Senate Democrats killed two commonsense bills that would not increase taxes while passing its own massive 6-cents-a-gallon gas tax increase — Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw's (D-35, Springfield) bill passed on a party line vote 21-16. Governor Kaine's tax bill was not introduced in the Democrat controlled Senate. But the unapologetic Senate Democrats, despite yet another record per-barrel price of oil, and gas at $4 a gallon, will be hard pressed to look like the party protecting the hard-working little guy and families with stretched budgets. But will the GOP easily pick up that mantle? When they return July 9, we'll learn if the Republicans, as some claim, are going to stage "Son of 3202."
Meanwhile, the Rules Committee passed the gas tax increase without recommendation to the full floor by the same 11-4 vote. Confident of the votes to defeat it there, House Republicans want all House Democrats to go on the record on taxing working people with the 2009 elections in sight.
Of course, the best government is a government not in session (thanks, Lee Brothers), so this interlude in the Special Tax Session gives all citizens an opportunity to contact their delegates and senators while they take up residence again in their home districts. This is the time to let them know what you think of the proposed 35 percent increase in the state's gas tax and any other schemes to separate us from our hard-earned money during these difficult economic times. If you don't want to see your earning and purchasing power erode further, if you want to limit the government to what it already takes from the sale of your home, what you pay at the pump and for a car, and any number of assorted cash grabs, contact them now, before they return after the Independence Day holiday.
You can't have an impact if you don't act, and it's easy to do. Please express how much a burden a 35 percent increase in the gas tax and other taxes will be to your family by clicking here to contact your delegates and senators.
By the way, here's another way you can reach your legislators: WRVA-AM/1140 in Richmond has an online petition to oppose the tax increase. Click here to view it and, if you wish, sign it.