• Congestion TAX overturned!

        General Assembly Violated State Constitution


        Del. Bob Marshall (Republican, Manassas), candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, today [Friday, Feb. 29] hailed a Virginia Supreme Court decision declaring a 2007 state law unconstitutional because it granted taxing power to unelected regional transportation authorities.

        “This is a great victory for Virginia’s taxpayers, for the Old Dominion’s representative government, and for the hallowed principle established at great sacrifice by our Founding Fathers of no taxation without representation,” Marshall, a lead plaintiff in the case against the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, said.

        During debate last year, Marshall contended that the statute was unconstitutional, the only member of the House of Delegates to do so. The General Assembly, after nearly four months of consideration, approved the legislation last April 4 – by the House of Delegates, 85-14, and by the state Senate, 29-10. Gov. Kaine signed the bill into law last April 11.

        Marshall took the fight to court, and today the Supreme Court agreed with him, overturning a lower-court ruling by Judge Benjamin N. A. Kendrick of the Arlington County Circuit Court.

        The state Supreme Court, in its 23-page opinion written by Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn and summarized on its website, held that provisions of the 2007 statute “are unconstitutional due to their delegation of the General Assembly’s power of taxation to a political subdivision that is not a county, city, town, or regional government and that is not an elected body.”

        “Although the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit it,” according to the court’s opinion summary, “such delegation is prohibited by necessary implication based on the language of certain Constitutional provisions.”

        The Supreme Court ruled that taxes and fee already imposed by NTVA “are null and void” and struck portions of the statute allowing NTVA to impose them.