Thursday, March 13, 2008

McDonnell Applauds Expiration of Jamestown Fee

-House and Senate Budget Negotiators Agree to Let Fee Expire as Scheduled-

Richmond- Attorney General Bob McDonnell applauded the budget negotiators from the House and Senate for agreeing to allow the Jamestown Fee to expire this summer as originally scheduled. This action occurred as part of the final agreement on the new biennial budget for the Commonwealth.

In 2003 the General Assembly passed legislation adding an additional $1 to the cost of vehicle registrations in Virginia, with the money earmarked primarily for the commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown in 2007. While the fee is scheduled to expire June 30th of this year, a number of lawmakers had stated a desire to continue the fee, using the monies raised for several other proposed, but non-commemoration-related, expenditures. In December, Attorney General McDonnell called for the fee to expire as scheduled.See Press Release.

Speaking about the General Assembly's agreement with this position, McDonnell noted, "I commend the House and Senate budget negotiators for agreeing to the budget amendment submitted by Delegate Kirk Cox allowing the Jamestown Fee to expire as originally planned. I also thank Speaker Howell for his leadership on this issue. This fee was enacted for a specific purpose, to fund the events commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown. That anniversary is over, and the fee should expire as planned. It is a simple matter of keeping trust with the people of Virginia. When the purpose of a fee expires, so too must that fee. I am pleased to see that the House and Senate budget negotiators agreed with this common-sense position."

The 400th Anniversary vehicle registration fee raised nearly $4 million a year for events commemorating the founding of Jamestown and Virginia. Smaller amounts from the fee were distributed to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Commonwealth's open space conservation effort.