Thursday, October 28, 2010

VA-08: Vote Republican Patrick Murray

From the Patrick Murray for Congress campaign in VA-08 ...
I wanted to let you know that early voting ends this Saturday, October 30th. If you will be out of town on Election Day it is critical that you vote early to ensure victory for the GOP. To find your nearest in-person absentee polling location, please click below:


I also wanted to make you aware of the three Virginia Constitutional Amendments that will be on the ballot. All three amendments address taxation and revenue issues. They have passed in the General Assembly, and now must be voted on for final approval. 

The first ballot question reads: "Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize the legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently disabled?" Currently, localities are only authorized to make exemptions for those who bear an "extraordinary tax burden", or with the express approval of the General Assembly, which occassionally passes legislation authorizing specific localities to afford local property tax to senior citizens or the disabled. This amendment, if approved, would allow local governments to make the decision on their own, without going to the General Assembly for approval.

The second ballot question asks: "Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?" If approved, this amendment would require a statewide exemption from local property taxes for the primary residence of any 100% disabled veteran, provided that the veteran's disability is service-related. A surviving spouse could continue to claim the exemption so long as the same home remains his or her primary residence, and s/he does not remarry.

Finally, the third ballot question says: "Shall Section 8 of Article X of the constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the permissible size of the Revenue Stabilization Fund (also known as the "rainy day fund") from 10 percent to 15 percent of the Commonwealth's average tax revenues derived from income and retail sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years?" In other words, should we expand the allowable size of Virginia's "rainy day fund," to which state government contributes in good years, to provide resources for lean years? Currently, the maximum size of the fund (which is almost empty at present) is 10 percent of the Commonwealth's average annual tax revenues from income and sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years. This amendment would increase the maximum allowed amount to 15 percent.

If you have any questions about these three ballot items, do not hesitate to contact our campaign office at 703-888-6625.

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