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Vote NO on All Three Va Constitutional Amendment Questions

Virginia Government Wants More of your Money for 'Rainy Day'

Virginia Government Wants More of your Money for ‘Rainy Day’

UPDATE: I noticed that this 2010 post is getting a lot of reads in 2012. We are working on a post to explain the two questions on the ballot for 2012, but the short version is VOTE YES to both. -Editor – 10/16/2012

Virginia voters will be faced with three opportunities to amend the state Constitution on election day Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

At first glance, all three of these amendments sound like a good idea, until you look beyond the emotional aspect. The devil is in the details.

The first two questions involve tax breaks for the elderly, the disabled and veterans. What’s not to like about that, right?

Here are the two proposed amendments:

Question 1:

Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently and totally disabled?

Question 2:

Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide a real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?

Well, let’s look beyond the emotional language.
These amendments are simply shifting the approval of these tax breaks from the Virginia Legislature to the local Board of Supervisors in each locality. If these measures shifted powers from federal to state or local level, they would be a good thing.

But all they are actually doing is allowing local Boards to bypass the oversight the Virginia Constitution put in place. Localities can still do these things now if they so decide, but they must seek approval from the state legislators. This is a wise check and balance and should not be changed.

Most agree that taxes should be both fair and equal. If a locality decides that some people deserve inequitable tax treatment, oversight is a good idea. While removing or reducing taxes based on age or ability is a noble thing, it must be balanced with fact that you are simply shifting the tax burden to others.

That said, a Veteran totally disabled in service to the country has already paid a heavy price and most people would agree it is our turn to repay that debt. These amendments change nothing other than removing a sanity check by the legislature.

Both should be declined.

The third proposed amendment reads:

Shall Section 8 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the permissible size of the Revenue Stabilization Fund (also known as the “rainy day fund”) from 10 percent to 15 percent of the Commonwealth’s average annual tax revenues derived from income and retail sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years?

Let’s state this another way:

Shall Section 8 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the amount we overtax you and do not give back from 10 percent to 15 percent?

Does that clear this up for you?

Our citizens should be taxed at the minimum level possible to support only the government we require.

While a “rainy day fund” might be a good thing for a family to have, it is a horrible and irresponsible idea for our government. It is over-taxation and allows our government to raid the fund to make up for poor fiscal planning.

If your employer discovered he had over-withheld money from your paycheck and decided to put this excess money a slush fund for the company to use as it sees fit, would this seem fair to you?

And if your employer should decide to increase this “mistake” by 50% more, would you be in favor of such nonsense?

No. You would want the money returned to you.

Those responsible for this boneheaded proposed amendment should hang their heads in shame all the way back to the feeding trough.

Despicable!

If you screw up the budget, man up and come back to the people and confess. Don’t hide your mistakes by overtaxing us.

And in a year that most Virginians in the private sector are being asked to take a pay cut, and happy to do it to keep their jobs, our state government has decided to pay out bonuses to state workers with a smoke and mirrors tax surplus.

It is obvious some in state government simply do not get it.

Remember – every seat in the Virginia House and Senate is up for reelection in 2011. Do you really want to take more money from us for a slush fund? You need to learn to live within our means.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

9 Responses to “Vote NO on All Three Va Constitutional Amendment Questions”

  1. Thank you for posting, I could not agree more, especially on the rainy day fund. It seems even in this tight budget times when a “surplus” is suddenly found (or created) the last thing on the governments mind is to return it to the tax payers. At 10% rainy day fund is sufficient.

  2. Saban says:

    Veterans deserve this small support! Look at facts, There are only 7500 100% permanently disabled Veterans in the Commonwealth. Of this number, only 4000 own homes. This has very little, if any, impact on local governments. I have not talked to anyone who would deny a disabled Veteran this small break. Vote yes on amendment # 2. Veterans have fought and died for country and deserve this small benefit.

    • Tom White says:

      Saban, as I said, disabled veterans have paid enough, in my book. The problem with this is not that Disabled Vets don’t deserve a break, but why stop at Vets? How about police officers disabled in the line of duty? Fire Fighters? Are they less deserving? If we add them, how about state workers disabled in the line of duty?

      This also gives the surviving widow of a 100% disabled veteran an exemption, yet does not include veterans who dies in service to their country, unless they were disabled first. What of their widows?

      We have to be careful extending Constitutional rights to special groups of people. We are all Virginians.

      If your locality wants to exempt Veterans from property tax, and their wives, voting no on this will change nothing. They still can exempt these persons, though the general assembly must approve each request the way I understand this.

      And since this tax revenue goes to localities, shouldn’t they be the ones to decide the exemptions? It means they will be required to raise the tax rate to compensate for what is basically an unfunded mandate by the state.

      Please look at the bigger picture and do not get caught up in the emotional bits here. Voting no does not prevent localities from exempting Veterans. They just need to enact this locally and get approval. I really doubt that the GA would turn down ANY request for a locality to exempt disabled veterans.

      • Saban says:

        It is great to see the citizens of the Commonwealth (over 80%) have more common sense than esoteric writers such as you Mr. White. I can’t believe a 100% disabled Veteran was denied your support, Thankfully the voice of the people prevailed.

        • Tom White says:

          Saban, it is a shame that Virginians misunderstood this issue. Every voter I explained this to voted no. As it stands before this vote, any locality wants to exempt exempt disabled veterans from paying property tax may request such an exemption from the General Assembly and there is simply no chance the request would be denied.

          Now, we will amend the Virginia Constitution to exempt disabled vets, and localities will be forced to raise the tax rate, or cut expenses elsewhere to compensate. This is an unfunded mandate now.

          Interestingly, if an active duty military person becomes disabled, he will now be entitled to this exemption. And if he passes away before his or her spouse, the spouse will keep the exemption. But a KIA’s surviving spouse is not entitled to the exemption.

          This amends the Va Constitution to create a special class of Virginian that receives different treatment from all other Virginians. Once this is in place,
          disabled policemen and firemen will demand equal protection. And now that our Constitution carves out special protection for classes of people, how can we deny gays special protection to marry?

          Our Constitution intentionally declined creating special classes to receive differential treatment. Not any longer.

          This was not about Veterans, it was about creating a special class in the Constitution. Deserving or not, it was both ill advised and completely misunderstood.

          It is regretful and a dangerous erosion of Liberty that this passed.

          That said, I absolutely favor every veteran disabled in service to the country receiving an exemption from any and all taxes, state, federal or local. They have paid enough. And their surviving spouses deserve the same. As do police, firefighters and others. It is the least we can do and I favor even more consideration for these heroes.

          But it is absolutely wrong to do this with our state constitution. Period.

    • PRFVA says:

      Saban,
      It looks like a good thing on the surface, but if you are able to pay taxes then you should. Just because you’re a vet doesn’t mean you fought and died. According to the CBO about a third of the military are combat troops. I think we should honor all those that serve this country, but I don’t want to open a loop hole or give special dispensation for one class of citizen, when they is a already a provision in place for all citizens.

  3. Bri says:

    Tom! I made a mistake! I fell for the trap of the three amendments stated above. I put all YES instead of NO. I take responsibility for not researching these topics better, but now I’m concerned many others will fall into the trap too. I guess it is too late to reverse my vote on the three as I just left the polls. WE all need a reliable website that could help the average citizen who wants to vote but doesn’t research enough (or have time to). All the advertising goes heavy on the Candidate but rarely discusses other important voting matters. It would be nice to see Hannity or Limbaugh post in a centralized way a list of all Districts, States, etc for each voting item on the ballot, not just the candidates. B

  4. Alecto says:

    I agree and saw through the ruse immediately at the ballot box. I voted no on all 3 and the Loudoun County Bond Measure – yes I am a heartless meanie who doesn’t care about the children – especially when the little darlings already claim 76% of every tax dollar in the county. What the heck is going on here? Of course we all appreciate the service of veterans and respect seniors, but we provide veterans with free healthcare for the rest of their lives (and their families). At some point this kind of thing becomes so blatantly anti-democratic it has to stop people. By creating special classes of citizens (seniors, veterans, etc…) there’s no “unum” left in “E Pluribus”. Perhaps the question should be “Why are Virginians being taxed at such obscene rates that we need to dream up emotionally compelling cockamamie schemes to fool voters?”

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  1. […] Sincere, Crystal Clear Conservative, Yankee Phil, Brian Kirwin of Bearing Drift, and Tom White of Virginia Right! recommend Virginia voters reject all three too.  However such thoughts are not uniform among […]


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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