Taxation and Finance
The issues addressed in this article, particularly regarding state debt, have figured prominently in a number of constitutional conventions and revision commissions throughout Virginia history. Thus in the nineteenth century, the 1850–51 Convention joined a number of other contemporaneous state conventions around the country in restricting legislative power to pledge the faith of the state for corporate debts and limiting the length of time for which state debts could be contracted. The 1867–68 Convention then imposed additional restrictions, including in regard to the lending of state credit, subscription in corporate stock, and state support of internal improvements.
The twentieth century featured continuing debates about state debt restrictions, including efforts both to relax existing limits and to impose additional limits. Thus the 1928 Constitutional revision had as one of its principal purposes the strengthening of restrictions on state debt and the overturning of a 1920 amendment that permitted state debt for road construction without a popular referendum. In particular, the 1928 Constitutional revision provided that debts for road construction and other capital projects would require a popular referendum and would be limited in their aggregate amount. However, the 1971 Constitutional revision undertook to relax several of the existing restrictions on state borrowing, first by increasing the aggregate limit on debt for general-obligation bonds, and second by permitting the issuance of revenue bonds without a popular referendum but with a two-thirds vote of both houses of the General Assembly.
CLASSIFICATION AND SEGREGATION
All property, except as hereinafter provided, shall be taxed. All taxes shall be
levied and collected under general laws and shall be uniform upon the same