Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Suit Challenges Governor, Attorney General, Speaker on Abuser fee-Transportation bill HB 3202

...From an email sent earlier today by Delegate Bob Marshall...go Bob, I wonder if any other delegates are compelled by their oaths of office to participate....

MANASSAS (August 6) "Because the Governor, the Attorney General and the
Speaker of the House of Delegates have joined a lawsuit against Northern
Virginia residents to compel them to submit to taxes on the sale of homes and
businesses, car repairs and sales and other taxes imposed by an unelected
regional authority, I am compelled by my Oath of Office to stand by my
constituents and have filed a countersuit to challenge the constitutionality of
HB 3202, the abuser fee and tax increase bill of 2007", Delegate Bob Marshall
(House District No. 13th, R-Prince William-Loudoun) said today.

"The abuser fee provisions of HB 3202 are bad enough. Most other provisions
of this collection of separate bills that were rolled into HB 3202 could not
pass the Assembly if considered separately. Members were coerced into voting
for the parts they did not like, for the ones they did. The abuser fee bill
passed this way, which is why the Virginia Constitution has prohibited this kind
of omnibus legislation for more than 150 years." Delegate Marshall noted.

Delegate Marshall noted that the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that
Virginia's Constitution "establishes the procedures that must be
followed in setting taxes at the local level. The use of any other procedure,
even if sanctioned by the General Assembly, would be violative of the
Constitution." (Wright v. Norfolk Electoral Board, 223 VA 149)

HB 3202 relies upon members appointed to the Northern Virginia Transportation
Authority to raise taxes, including two members who do not hold any elective
office. The Virginia Constitution states: "No ordinance or resolution "imposing taxes" shall be passed except by a recorded affirmative vote of a
majority of all members elected to the governing body." (Article VII, Section

Delegate Marshall twice requested formal legal opinions from the Attorney
General on HB 3202, but received none. The claims filed today in Arlington
Circuit Court by Delegate Marshall and several other Northern Virginia residents
allege numerous additional constitutional defects in H.B. 3202.

Delegate Marshall and co-defendants* are also asking that Arlington Circuit
Court judges remove themselves from hearing the case because the judges are
also defendants in the bond suit filed by the Northern Virginia Transportation

*Delegate Marshall was joined in his suit by other Northern Virginia residents.

CONTACT Del. Bob Marshall at 703-361-5416


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