Manassas Journal Messenger | All’s fair in D.C., Virginia commuter tax debate

Virginians are intelligent, broad-minded and charitable.

At least that’s the impression that Prince William County Supervisor Chairman Sean T. Connaughton wants D.C. Councilman Jack Evans to pick up next week at the county fair.

Connaughton, R-at large, invited Evans to attend the Prince William County Fair to alter the councilman’s perception of Virginians, whom he called greedy during last month’s commuter tax debate.

Connaughton offered the invitation to Evans, D-Ward 2, and said he’d pay for the tickets.

Connaughton said Evans has agreed to attend the fair, which begins Aug. 8.

The councilman, who called Virginians “backwards” near the inception of the commuter tax debate, hasn’t scheduled a specific date to attend the week-long fair.

On July 24, the D.C. Council, its mayor and some residents filed a lawsuit against a provision of 1974’s Home Rule Act, which prohibits the city from imposing a tax on people who only work in the district.

The intent of the lawsuit is to lift a commuter tax ban on the country’s only city that cannot impose one, a provision deemed unconstitutional by D.C.’s attorneys.

In response to Virginia officials’ cries of commuter tax protest, Evans was quoted by the Washington Post as saying Virginians live “up to their reputation of being narrow-minded. When you think of people in Virginia, you think of them as backward, and they confirm it on something like this.”

Connaughton had jokingly fired back with a proposal that Prince William County initiate “Kcaj Snave Day” (Jack Evans in reverse) as commuters march from Mt. Vernon to the Jefferson Memorial wearing their clothes backwards.

He later said that had hadn’t made any solid plans for the backwards march, but was surprised that Evans took him up on the day-at-the-fair offer.

“We’re encouraged that he’s decided to visit Virginia. More importantly, Prince William County and our fantastic fair,” Connaughton said.

Connaughton added that his favorite fair event is the tractor pull, but he’d let Evans, who’s on D.C.’s committee on finance and revenue, choose which activity he’d like to see.

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