Thursday, May 31, 2012

Parting of the Potomac? Maryland's Tax Hike Exodus

Want proof of the toll that tax increases take on a state's business and residential landscape? Look at Maryland. Between '07 and '10, nearly 40,000 Marylanders chose to flee tax hikes to Virginia; shifting millions of dollars south of the Beltway.

The Free State is costing its businesses more and more these days. A recent article from shows how Maryland's tax hikes (continuing from 2007 until today) have cost the state $390 Million in personal taxes ALONE.
That's not to mention the droves of Maryland based businesses that are slogging across the Potomac to the Old Dominion in hopes of a smaller impact on their gains. The tax hikes that Governor Martin O'Malley has signed into law have driven away giants such as Volkswagen North America, Northrop Grumman, and Hilton Worldwide.

Who can blame them? Virginia's corporate tax rate is a full 2.25% lower than Maryland's. When that is money leaving the pockets of workers and businesses, the choice becomes clear.
Incessant tax increases on the middle classes and businesses in Maryland? Or a free, incentivized, and competitive business climate in Virginia? It is not hard to see which strategy is working.

Let's keep Virginia THE place to bring business.

Take a look at the full article HERE

VA GOP Caucus

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dulles Rail Doesn't Need More Virginia Money

Delegate Tim Hugo's Op Ed for the Washington Examiner explains why Virginia taxpayers should oppose an additional $300 million to the MWAA.

It is time to hold MWAA accountable to Virginian taxpayers, and it is time for transparency when it comes to the Dulles Rail Project. A recent Washington Examiner article details the findings from federal investigators of MWAA's books. Here are just a few examples of how MWAA is spending Virginia's money, you can read the full article HERE.

  • Not one but two $120 bottles of wine, along with a $9,200 last minute ticket to Prague
  • $5,000 for three Hawaiian dinners
  • They awarded $6 Million in NO BID contracts, ignoring Virginia's competition-friendly stance on labor.
  • Their books are not even clear enough to IDENTIFY all of the potential conflicts of interest involved in their closed door sessions, which they were also cited for.
  • Even their session on "enhancing transparency" was CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC? That reads like a bad joke, but it is happening..
Former  Governor Tim Kaine should have never handed over the lucrative Dulles Toll Road (estimated value $3.5 Billion) without any legislative oversight whatsoever. Back in 2006, Kaine just GAVE IT AWAY.

The House of Delegates tried to stop the giveaway and propose participation by Virginia legislators in this process, but their attempts died in the Senate. Now some of the same senators that killed that legislation are asking for more money? Come on.

Click the link HERE to have a look at the full article by Delegate Hugo

VA GOP Caucus

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tim Kaine Locks his Lips and turns a Deaf Ear to Virginia Workers

If you are one of the 96% of Virginia workers who choose not to join a union, you should keep an eye on tightlipped Tim Kaine.

 Kaine's starry eyed support of Obama was on display AGAIN at a recent Obama speech at the AFL CIO.

President Obama even promised future support of unions, trampling our own right-to-work positions here in the Commonwealth. He even referenced "(his) friend Tim" as a pro-unioner as well. That was on April 30.

Kaine, sitting on the proverbial fencepost, has not responded at all to questions about whether he does or doesn't support the President when it comes to unions. It's a simple question; why not answer?

You can read the full article by Delegate Comstock HERE

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, May 4, 2012

Taxpayers Should Oppose an Additional $300 Million for Dulles Rail

Majority Caucus Chairman, Delegate Tim Hugo, had an op-ed in the Fairfax Times this morning. In it, he successfully sheds light on why MWAA shouldn't receive an additional $300 Million for Dulles Rail Phase 2.

The complete article below.

Taxpayers should oppose an additional $300 million for Dulles Rail

During the past couple of months, much press coverage — both pro and con — has been devoted to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Dulles Rail Phase 2 project.

Coverage exploded when MWAA’s allies, at the 11th hour, requested an additional $300 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia. This request almost scuttled Virginia’s budget for schools, police, fire and other essential services during the next two years.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to make informed decisions regarding “Rail to Dulles” because of the misinformation spread by the MWAA Board and its supporters. Thus, it needs to be explicitly stated why this MWAA “megaproject” has become the source of such controversy and the reasons for not providing an additional $300 million from Virginia taxpayers.

In 2006, Gov. Tim Kaine (D) transferred Virginia’s Dulles Toll Road, valued at $3.52 billion, to MWAA with Virginia receiving nothing in return. With the toll road on the verge of being completely paid for, MWAA became the beneficiary of its revenues, which in 2011 alone generated about $95 million. The toll road continues to be a cash cow for MWAA’s coffers with MWAA estimating, during the next 15 years, $4.4 billion in toll road revenues.

Virginia’s House of Delegates passed legislation in 2006 attempting to prohibit the transfer of any Virginia infrastructure to any public or private entity without prior legislative authorization by the General Assembly. The legislation unfortunately died in the Virginia Senate, resulting in the Commonwealth not being able to cap potentially exorbitant tolls on a road paid for and maintained by Virginia taxpayers.

So who is this MWAA Board that will decide how much Virginians must pay to drive on a road they’ve already paid for? It is made up of 13 unelected members — only five of whom are appointed by the governor of Virginia. The remaining eight members — appointed by Maryland, the District of Columbia and president — have little or no relationship to our Virginia airports. In fact, one MWAA Board member voted while under house arrest on another continent! Clearly, the majority of this MWAA Board does not have Virginia as its primary interest.

Virginia is a “Right to Work” state. Yet MWAA, because of Board members with close ties to national unions, is promoting union preferences that will preclude the hiring of almost all Virginia companies. These jobs will go to companies in Maryland, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

MWAA’s latest attempt, which would give a 10 percent scoring incentive to union companies in awarding a contract, completely ignores Virginia’s cherished “Right to Work” laws. This preference is tantamount to the Redskins starting every series on the 45-yard line. There should be a level playing field between union and non-union companies. Unfortunately, MWAA does not believe this to be so.

MWAA is a poorly run Board whose decisions often are hidden from the public behind closed doors. In fact, for months MWAA publicly contended Phase 1 was on-time and on-budget. Yet recently, MWAA was forced to announce Phase 1 actually was $150 million over budget. MWAA’s actions have necessitated a federal Inspector General audit, whose interim findings are set to be released on May 15. At the very least, we need to wait and see the audit findings before we even consider providing an additional $300 million from the taxpayers.

VDOT has analyzed MWAA’s financing of the project and has proposed a debt restructuring solution that would keep Dulles tolls at a manageable level by utilizing a projected $5.4 billion in surplus toll revenues to help reduce rates. Thus, the $300 million Senate Democrats insisted upon — when they held Virginia hostage by refusing to pass a budget — is unnecessary. Once again, rather than ensuring taxpayers’ monies are wisely spent, MWAA’s answer to all things is to spend more. Because they are projected to have a $5 billion surplus, does MWAA really need more taxpayer dollars?

Rail to Dulles can be built. But, if so, it must be done in a fiscally responsible way that benefits Virginia companies and Virginia taxpayers.

It’s about time to shed some light on MWAA’s actions and make it accountable to Virginia.

Del. Tim Hugo (R-Dist. 40) represents portions of Centreville, Clifton, Fairfax Station in Fairfax County and Catharpin, Gainesville, Haymarket, Gainesville in Prince William County.