As expected, the General Assembly approved Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s substitute road funding bill this week, though not without a small amount of discussion. Also as expected, the most vocal opposition came from Del. Bob Marshall.
Del. Cathy Byron, who opposed the bill, gave a more interesting rationale for doing so. She said, in essence, that the changes in how roads are funded will make Virginia’s antiquated tax code more complex and burdensome. That’s bad for residents, bad for businesses and the overall state economy. She issued a call for the General Assembly to address tax reform in the next session. That’s good, and long overdue.
But it was a remark Marshall made, almost as an aside, which should tell everyone this might not be over. He told the House he was reviewing some case law on various issues relating to the bill. As it’s safe to assume he would not be doing so for his health, we can guess that if he finds what he’s looking for, Marshall will be challenging this legislation in court.
He may want to talk to Del. Ben Cline, whose line of questioning on the planning districts that will be handling all this new tax money in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads pointed to possible constitutional weaknesses in the bill.
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.