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Video: Gov. Northam Leaning Towards Veto of Arlington Golf Course Bill — or Not.


This morning on WTOP “Ask the Governor” show, Gov. Ralph Northam was asked about the Arlington golf courses/country clubs taxation issue (the bill is Tim Hugo’s HB1204). Northam’s confusing answer was as follows (my comments in parentheses after each point): 1) he believes that tax assessments on the golf courses are “high” (that’s highly debatable); 2) “I don’t think the state needs to get involved at the local level” (agreed in this case, and in general I think Dillon Rule in this state is far too rigid and draconian compared to other states); 3) “Arlington leadership should deal with these golf courses and I have asked them to do just that” (yeah, that’s lovely, but what happens if the golf courses don’t want to make a fair deal and simply decide to keep pushing for state intervention on their behalf?); 4) “I have a lot of concerns when the state gets involved at the local level and I think this is a case of that” (agreed); 5) wouldn’t say directly if he’s “leaning towards a veto”; 6) he’s concerned about members who are veterans with “limited resources” unable to afford the membership fees at the golf courses (perfectly fair point, but not sure how that’s relevant to the tax/assessment issue); 7) he says it might very well be an “all-or-none thing,” so “if the local leadership is unable to resolve this, I will have to take action” (no idea what that means, but it seems to potentially contradict his earlier points about letting local officials work this out).


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