Campaign 2010

Jun 03, 2010

It’s High Time Robert Hurt Started Telling the Truth About Increasing Taxes

~Authorized 28 different taxes and fees~ 

Much of the election in Virginia's 5th district has focused on state Senator Robert Hurt’s record of breaking his pledge and supporting a tax increase in 2004. For that vote, national anti-tax activists targeted Hurt and named him to a "Least Wanted" list. [Roll Call, 12/17/10]

But now Hurt says, "That's one vote out of 3,000." [The Hook, 5/20/10]

False!

The truth, Hurt has voted to authorize 28 different taxes and fees PLUS his 'one vote' for a $1.4 billion tax increase… a combined total of over $2 billion. Among others, Hurt voted to increase abusive driver fees, diesel gasoline taxes, registration taxes and hunting license fees. He even authorized raising the cost of buying and selling a home.

"It’s time for Robert Hurt to stop behaving like a career politician and start telling the truth about his tax record," said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Throughout his campaign he’s been hiding from tough questions and now he’s just making stuff up, pretending that there was only one time he broke his word and voted to raise taxes. If Hurt was telling the truth, he wouldn’t say it was just 1 vote but he would admit that it was nearly 30 different taxes and fees. The truth is that Hurt can’t be trusted to keep his pledge not to raise taxes or his word on anything else. Rather than run from his record, Hurt should start standing up and explaining his record of support tax increases on everything from driving a car to filling up a gas tank to going hunting with your kids. Hurt might have signed a pledge to not raise taxes but his record makes it clear that the pledge isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on."

Robert Hurts Real Record of raising taxes and fees

Supported 2003 Budget that Increased Fees

In 2003, Hurt voted in favor of a budget that raised an assortment of fees to generate revenue, totaling $65.6 million.   

The final version included:

ü  A 5 percent increase in the price of liquor sold in package stores operated by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

ü  Driver’s licenses to cost $5 more. 

ü  A mandatory $1 fee, tacked to the cost of a license plate, to raise funds for the Jamestown quadricentennial in 2007. Previously, motorists had the option of contributing $2;

ü  A $4 increase from $42 to $46 on the fee accompanying a conviction for a traffic offense to cover troopers’ time in court and the cost of interpreters;

Hurt did not vote on the bill’s initial passage, which passed 77-19 but supported the conference version, which carried 70-29. [HB 1400, 2/06/03; HB 1400, 2/22/03; Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/23/03, 3/18/03; Roanoke Times, 3/09/03]

Voted for Transportation Funding Plan That Increased Gas Taxes, Registration Fees

In 2007, Hurt twice voted in favor of a multifaceted transportation bill that would generate new revenue for roads and transit.

Among other features, the plan raised the following taxes and fees:

  • Statewide
    • Imposes harsh and recurring annual fees on motorists who incur 8 or more demerit points on their driving record as a result of repeat traffic offenses, estimated to yield about $65 million annually. Tickets issued before the bill takes effect, however, would not be counted as demerit points.
    • Generates $27 million annually in higher fees for registering heavy truck or trailers.
    • Boosts tax on diesel by 1.5 cents per gallon, equalizing it with the 17.5 cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline and producing about $22 million a year.
  • Northern Virginia
    • Authorizes about $400 million annually in locally and regionally imposed taxes.
    • Seven fee and tax increases would be mandatory throughout the region, with anticipated annual revenues in parentheses:
      • A levy of 40 cents paid by the seller of a house per every $100 of the home's final sale price (about $172 million);
      • A 2 percent tax on rental cars (about $9 million);
      • A 2 percent tax on hotel and motel rooms (about $25 million);
      • A $10 increase in the cost of annual car safety inspections (about $16 million);
      • A 1 percent fee when newly purchased vehicles are registered for the first time (about $64 million);
      • Applying the 5 percent sales tax to car repair bills (about $33 million);
      • A $10 regional registration fee increase ($17 million).
    • Three local taxes that city or county governments would have the option of imposing and totals they would yield regionwide:
      • Commercial real estate tax, up to 25 cents (about $84 million);
      • A $10 local registration fee increase ($17 million);
      • "Impact fees" on commercial or residential land development (undetermined).
  • Hampton Roads
    • Authorizes about $200 million annually in regional and local taxes.
    • Seven fee and tax increases would be mandatory throughout the region, with anticipated revenues in parentheses:
      • A 2 percent gasoline tax increase (about $30 million);
      • A levy of 40 cents paid by the seller of a house per every $100 of the home's final sale price (about $50 million);
      • A 2 percent tax on rental cars (about $3.5 million);
      • A $10 annual increase in vehicle safety inspections (About $12 million);
      • A 1 percent fee when newly purchased vehicles are registered for the first time (about $42 million);
      • Applying the 5 percent sales tax to car repair bills (about $20 million);
      • A $10 local registration fee increase ($13 million);
    • Three local taxes that city or county governments would have the option of imposing and totals they would yield regionwide:
      • Commercial real estate tax, up to 25 cents (about $20 million);
      • "Impact fees" on commercial or residential land development (undetermined).

The bill initially passed the House 61-37. Hurt also supported the final version of the bill which passed 85-15. Governor Kaine signed the bill into law on April 11th, 2007. [HB 3202, 2/06/07; HB 3202, 4/04/07; Associated Press, 4/05/07]

Voted to Increase Prices for Hunting Licenses

In 2003, Hurt voted in favor of a bill to increase fees for a nonresident statewide hunting license from $60 to $80 and increase three-day nonresident hunting licenses from $30 to $40.

The bill passed 69-28. [HB 1663, 1/28/03]

 

 

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