Supervisor urges veto of sales tax increase

Editor’s note: this letter was sent to Gov. Northam.

I am the Jamestown District representative on the James City County Board of Supervisors, and I am writing to you about Senate Bill 942, which should be on your desk for signature soon. On behalf of my constituents, I ask you to veto this bill. I do so as an individual supervisor and not as a representative of the entire board.

There has been a serious lack of transparency and citizen participation in the process that produced this bill. Last fall, Sen.Norment began discussions about his bill with some of the elected representatives of the city of Williamsburg and the counties of James City and York. None of these discussions were public or on the record, and in James City County several current board members were unaware of his bill until it was introduced in the Senate.

Opposition to this bill by my constituents has been unanimous. I have not had one single citizen call or write me to support it. Quite the contrary, the rhetoric against this bill has been heated and indignant and has focused on the lack of public input.

Tourism is an integral part of our local economy, and clearly our current organizational structure and funding are not producing the desired results. To be effective, any legislation to remedy the problem must earn the support of our taxpaying citizens, and this one has not.

Jim Icenhour

James City County

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