Today, President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist released the following statement regarding ongoing negotiations between Virginia House and Senate conferees on a transportation plan:

“Governor Bob McDonnell’s proposed transportation fix started as a $2.4 billion tax increase. As the House and Senate conferees debate the final language, the size of the tax hike has evidently increased by 250 percent, to nearly $6.1 billion in new and higher taxes once fully implemented over five years.”

“New regional taxing authorities imposed in this ‘agreement’ in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia could raise taxes by as much as 550 million dollars per year in these two regions. A higher sales tax, higher car tax, an internet tax scheme, and a higher diesel fuel tax are not indicative of bold leadership in any sense of the term.”

“This is a massive tax increase almost as large as the Warner tax hike of a few years ago. Luckily these tax hikes can be avoided as roads and airports connect Virginia taxpayers with other states with Republican governors and legislatures that are actually cutting taxes. North Carolina, Louisiana, Kansas and Nebraska are all calling to eliminate their state income taxes. Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin are cutting their income taxes. Texas and Florida, who cannot cut their income taxes because they don’t have any, are preparing to cut their sales taxes. All of these states have roads….and elected officials that stand with taxpayers rather than against them.”

“Yet again, what could have been a sound, tax-neutral, pro-growth transportation funding proposal has been hijacked by a number of Republicans who join Democrats in believing that all transportation costs must be paid for by higher taxes. This should not come as any surprise to those familiar with Senator Frank Wagner, Senator John Watkins or Delegate Chris Jones’s history in the legislature. They are not allies with Virginia taxpayers.”

[PDF of Press Release]