(Il)logical Conclusions

(I endeavor to keep the focus of this site on Portsmouth issues, but I have been working against one very ill-considered provision of the comprehensive transportation funding bill, the hybrid registration surcharge. I know I’m not the only gas/electric fuel automobile owner in Portsmouth, so this issue must have some resonance for at least a few others.)

How about this innovative idea: Since the hybrid surcharge rationale is really based on what the Commonwealth needs to raise in revenue, not actual individual resource use, why not apply the same logic to other taxes. If we need more sales tax revenue, let’s slap an under-consumption fee on those slackers who aren’t buying enough consumer goods to satisfy state revenue needs. How about those low-wage, unemployed, permanently disabled, and retired folks scraping by on meager resources? They’re not contributing their fair share of income taxes, are they? Let’s hit them with an underachiever’s fee. This has so much potential, we should just expand it across the spectrum of fees, taxes, and tolls so we soak up every available dime of discretionary income from everybody. My one misgiving about suggesting this, though, is if a member of the General Assembly runs across it, s/he may not understand this is intended as irony and promote the idea. As we’ve seen on numerous occasions, in Virginia no notions are too crazy to find a patron in our state legislature. (State currency, anyone?)

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