- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There is a little-known policy of the Department of Defense that allows states and municipalities to tax commercial retail outlets such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, et al., on federal property under department control. The outrage is, while the policy forces individual military personnel to pay all applicable state, local sales and meals taxes on federal property to a state and municipality that has no fiduciary responsibility over that property, organized purchase by official use of Basic Purchasing Agreements for the same food is exempt from those taxes through federal eminent domain statutes.

While the tax “hawks” in the Virginia Beach City Council, the state legislature, Virginia’s congressional delegation and Gov. Bob McDonnell all rail against “gratuitous” taxes, none has been bold enough or even civil enough to address these miserly and ungrateful taxes by enacting state legislation prohibiting it. This, despite the massive amount of federal military-impact money the state and local municipalities receive.

These taxes are wrong and should be repealed. No politician who supports this type of taxation on service members and their families should ever show up at a homecoming declaring his or her grateful support of those who sacrifice so much in our name. If they do, the caption under the picture of the photo-op should declare the politician a fraud, a supporter of taxes on citizens who have no voice and no say in the taxing policy levied on them by folks they did not elect.

Congress should write clear legislation forbidding taxation by states and local municipalities on federal military property — regardless of the commercial or retail venue.

ALAN J. QUARTARARO

Virginia Beach

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