With the General Assembly having just passed a Budget, and the City Budget season soon upon us, I thought I'd float on here an idea for tax reform that I've expressed elsewhere before. I'd abolish both the BPOL and Car Tax, in turn giving localities the authority to levy a local piggyback income tax.
The BPOL was first imposed to pay for Virginia's share of The War of 1812. That war was over long ago, but we're still paying the tax for it. Also, compliance with it is very labor-intensive for businesses.
Yes, Virginia, the Car Tax has not been totally eliminated from the books. In fact, our cash-strapped Commonwealth is sending millions in reimbursements to the localities. Eliminate it, and the financial shell game that's going on.
Putting more financial control at home would help stop localities from finger-pointing at Richmond, as they'd be responsible for their own revenue to a larger extent. As a check, you could require localities to seek state approval to change the piggyback rate. (That's the case in my native Maryland.)
I toss it out there for discussion. It may not be perfect, but it starts to unravel some of the craziness in the Virginia tax code.