Puckett, a very nice guy who is well-liked by everyone in his district, has lost touch with the people here. The devastating plant closings in the area attest to the stark and inescapable fact that the cost of doing business in Southwest Virginia is too high. Our employers cannot compete in the global marketplace. Puckett voted yesterday to make the problem worse. If his vote stands, the cost of transporting goods out of the area will grow as a result of higher taxes on fuel.
The bill generates revenues for these new funds, for existing funds, and for local transportation needs from a variety of revenue sources. The bill would raise vehicle registration fees by $10 for most vehicles and $20 for large passenger cars and pick-up or panel trucks; impose the retail sales and use tax on labor and service charges for vehicle maintenance and repair; increase the tax levied on diesel and alternative fuels to the same seventeen and one-half-cents currently levied on gasoline; impose an additional tax on gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels based on a percentage of the statewide average retail price of gasoline; and would phase-in an increase of the motor vehicles sales tax. (link)
The important point to make, one lost on our Senator, is that India will not be paying Phil Puckett's tax. India, in case he's forgotten already, is where all those Travelocity jobs went when the company shut down its facility over in Clintwood - throwing 250 people out of work. (link) (link) (link)
We have to now hope there are area representatives in the House of Delegates who still remember where they're from.
I'm told the folks in Fairfax love Phil Puckett. He will have to live with that. We don't have to.