Grantor’s Tax Should Be Repealed, Too

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine now wants to repeal the abusive-driver fees contained in Virginia’s 2007 transportation law, even though he signed that law and proposed similar fees starting in 2004.

The law was a package deal. If “abuser fees” are repealed, so too should the biggest tax authorized by the law, the “grantor’s tax” on homeowners. That tax is $2,000 on the sale of a $500,000 home. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will waste it on vanity projects like a streetcar line.

Like the abuser fees, the grantor’s tax is paid only by Virginians. Out-of-state motorists who use Virginia roads do not pay either of them. Gov. Kaine himself modified the abuser fees to exempt non-Virginians.

Even worse, the grantor’s tax makes homeowners pay for roads even if they seldom use them — unlike abuser fees, which apply only to those who misuse the roads.