2013 Legislative Session Begins
I hope the new year is treating you well so far. I enjoyed a great holiday break, spending time with the family and unwinding after a long and bumpy presidential campaign year of 2012.
Today, I am writing to you from Richmond where my staff and I arrived last night with boxes of files. The Virginia House of Delegates gavels in at noon today to begin the "short" 46-day legislative session.
This morning, I will introduce a dozen bills to address various issues that impact the people in the 35th House District, such as lack of street maintenance funding and classrooms overflowing with too many students.
Once the House Clerk uploads the bills on the Legislative Information System, you will be able to review all of my bills and their status as the legislative session gets underway. I will also send out another email with the bill numbers once they are assigned by the system.
Of all the bills I am introducing this year, the one that is most urgent and of extreme importance to many of our constituents is dealing with the new Tysons tax that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted last night.
As noted in these articles, the County Board voted to assess a new tax to pay for Tysons transportation infrastructure by requiring both residents and commercial property owners to pay for the new developments. The County estimates that it will need about $3 billion in new funds over the next 40 years to make the Tysons vision come alive.
While I agree with the County that we need to build out Tysons to its full potential as the economic hub of Northern Virginia, I cannot support placing this tremendous financial burden on both residents and businesses alike.
Clearly, a senior citizen living on a fixed income in a 35-year old condominium cannot and should not pay the same tax rate as a profit-generating Fortune 500 corporation or a high-end shopping center. This is especially unfair since the new taxes would pay for exit ramps and other street improvements for the convenience of out-of-town commuters and shoppers to come and go from Tysons.
The County officials believe that they are required by state laws to treat both residential and commercial property in exactly the same way. I don't agree. That is why I drafted a bill to provide the County officials with legal authority to provide flexibility to residences who should be exempted from this new tax burden.
I am eager to present this bill in the House and hope that my state colleagues will agree to help out these residents in Tysons.
I will be discussing this and other issues at
As I have for three years now, I will be joined by my good friend State Senator Chap Petersen at the
The town hall is open to everyone and you don't need to RSVP, but please direct any questions to my staff Julia@MarkKeam.com or call (703)350-3911.
Thank you for your interest and I look forward to seeing you or hearing from you soon.
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