GOP House leaders emerged from a private hour-long discussion Wednesday with the Democratic governor resolute against new statewide taxes.
“For whatever reason, they’re insisting on bringing in this maintenance problem using facts, using information that I think is dubious at best,” said House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford.
“It makes you wonder if, in fact, this is all to put it off to the 2009 election” and try to use the issue to attack GOP House candidates, Howell said.
“We are all opposed to tax increases for statewide maintenance if the speaker can furnish us the names of the contractors that he has found that will pour the asphalt and the cement for free,” an indignant Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax and the Senate Majority Leader, said after the meeting.
Many Republicans want local governments within the regions to impose the taxes, the only way that they say blocks the General Assembly from diverting receipts collected in their regions to other uses in times of tight budgets.
Democrats say that approach unfairly shifts the political burden of imposing a menu of fees and taxes onto local elected leaders. They prefer using the General Assembly’s own unquestioned taxing power to generate the revenue.
See, the Republicans in the General Assembly aren’t against a tax increase — they just don’t want to be the ones imposing it!