Saturday, March 20, 2004

Republicans sue Governor Warner over tax increases

One element of the budget debate I never noticed before just now is that a group of Republican delegates has sued the governor, on some theory that the tax increases in his budget proposal are illegal, as reported at the end of this article ("House panel pushes for voters’ OK of higher taxes," 3/20/04) in the Norfolk paper, which says:

"Attaching the referendum to the budget is particularly controversial this year because seven Republican delegates are suing Gov. Mark R. Warner for trying to raise taxes through his budget proposal.

They argue that the state constitution prohibits the budget from being used for any purpose other than to spend revenues available through existing taxes. Their lawsuit suggests that a referendum also cannot be legally included in a state budget.

Del. John J. Welch III, R-Virginia Beach, is one of the lawmakers who has signed onto the lawsuit.

Senators followed Warner’s lead and wrote their tax increases into their own budget proposal.

House members, however, stripped all tax increases out of Warner’s budget proposal. They then erased some of the governor’s spending suggestions and adopted a separate bill that provides revenues from corporate taxes to balance their budget."

I guess the implication of the article is that somebody ought to file another lawsuit challenging a budget that comes with a referendum requirement attached.

No comments: