Pro-sales tax groups see spike in funding

Fund-raising by opponents of the sales tax referendum stalled out in September while the pro-referendum forces brought in an all-time monthly high of $780,000.

According to filing data released Wednesday, the Northern Virginia Republican political action committee only managed five donations over $100 in September for a total of 31 total donations for the year, bringing its total funds raised to $7,815, with $3,278 transferred from last year and $8,631 spent.

The ballot question asks voters to raise the sales tax by half a cent to pay for $5 billion in roads and transit projects over 20 years.

Citizens for Better Transportation, or CBT, raised $780,000 to bring its total $1.4 million, with $710,217 spent and $11,832 in in-kind donations.

CBT has spent $150,451 on polling, of that $52,673 was telephone services by Landmark Strategies on Sept. 27. Its other totals for the year include:

— $137,545 staff salaries

— $93,768 political consulting

— $91,440 radio/TV ads

— $90,950 fund-raising events

— $87,499 direct mail

— $31,306 Internet services

— $10,898 office supplies

— $10,711 legal and accounting services

The Northern Virginia Republican PAC expenditures this year include:

— $3,700 signs, bumper stickers

— $1,455 direct mail, design and printing

— $694 Internet services

— $531 office supplies

— $385 radio/TV

Other groups are not required to list donors.

AAA Mid-Atlantic, in support of the referendum, spent $1,388 for printing Sept. 10.

The Fairfax Taxpayers Alliance has spent $4,787 against the referendum: $2,353 for signs and bumper stickers, $1,332 for direct mail, $683 for fund-raising, $300 Internet services, $92 for events and $24 for office supplies.

Smart-growth and environmental groups, with $41,015 total spent, have outspent their conservative counterparts in opposing the referendum.

The Piedmont Environmental Council has spent $28,549 including $14,843 for political consulting, $5,730 for signs and bumper stickers, $4,750 for polling, $2,069 for direct mail, and $503 for events.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth has spent $2,893 including $1,388 for direct mail and printing, $506 for staff expenses, $455 events, $247 office supplies, $132 for signs and bumper stickers and $21 for postage.

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has spent $9,573: $5,687 on polling, $2,172 on voter lists, $1,500 on salaries, $153 on phones and $61 on miscellaneous expenses.

Some groups have not reported any financial data to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Virginia Railway Express has paid for radio ads supporting the referendum, but expenditure amounts were not available Wednesday night.

The Prince William County Republican Committee raised $2,500 last week to oppose the referendum.

The Prince William Taxpayers Alliance is also against the referendum.

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