Legislators must account for money

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2002

Editor, the News-Herald,

I’ll vote No to any new sales tax increase until some of these Virginia legislators or department heads explain where all the money they collect now is being used. Where is the state tax money being collected on each gallon of gasoline and where is it being used? Who is ensuring that it is being collected and spent on road projects? More people than ever are driving, so more tax money should be collected.

Where are all the vehicle sales taxes collected by the Division of Motor Vehicles on all vehicles registered in Virginia going? These funds should be used for road construction. Are they? Where is all the federal highway funds received by Virginia being used?

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State highway and road projects are the responsibility of

the Virginia Department of Transportation. The state legislature is responsible to provide the necessary funds for road and highway improvements. If our elected officials, after a careful investigation, find that the funds available are being well spent and more money is needed, they should vote a tax increase to fund these projects. These highway improvements are not local issues but a state-wide issue. We do not need more local transportation planners or local tax collectors.

Virginia Beach voters voted down the light rail project to Norfolk, but it is included as one of the projects funded by this referendum. Are the planners not listening to the voters?

The new director of Virginia Department of Transportation says his department is best equipped to administer all highway and transportation projects. Why should we vote to allow the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission to issue bonds to pay for these projects that the state is responsible for? We should not allow any individual or organization not elected to make debts that we taxpayers will be responsible for. I don’t co-sign loans for others; we should not allow un-elected officials to put us in debt.

William H. Harward

Suffolk