( – promoted by lowkell)
Crossposted from VBDems
Michael Sluss of the Roanoke Times called it a “stunt designed to embarrass anti-tax Republicans,” and perhaps it was. Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw amended a bill to include a provision that would prohibit some localities from taxing hotel rooms. These localities include Virginia Beach. Saslaw called the amendment the biggest tax cut since the state got rid of the car tax.
If you’re a Republican who always runs on a platform of cutting spending and taxes, Saslaw’s amendment would seem to fit into your mantra, right?
There’s an issue, though. Cities like Virginia Beach rely on the revenue from the occupancy tax to pay debt on bonds, and the cities would be in financial trouble if that revenue stream disappeared.
On a party line vote, Saslaw’s amendment passed the Virginia Senate, and Republicans were forced, through their vote, to admit that their rhetoric on taxes does not fit reality.
Some may cringe that the floor of the Senate was used to make such a blunt partisan point; however, I think it’s an equal reaction to the continuous onslaught of finger pointing Senate Republicans have been doing this session. Saslaw’s amendment, which he knew would never make it into law, was a “put up or shut up” moment for Republicans, and while I’m sure they’ll whine about the tactics used, they were forced to shut up and vote against their own rhetoric.
The question voters need to ask is if a party has to vote against their rhetoric because it’s the responsible thing to do, how responsible is that party in reality?