WASHINGTON - The Virginia Supreme Court ruled Friday that $130 million of bonds the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, a regional body created by state lawmakers, planned to issue would be unconstitutional.

In a unanimous ruling, the high court determined that lawmakers are not permitted to extend taxing and bond issuance powers to the authority because its board members are not elected. The court ruled that only elected officials possess the ability to levy taxes, and that therefore the NVTA cannot impose the seven new taxes and fees that were needed to back the bonds, or issue the bonds. The authority, which hoped to collect $300 million from the new taxes, consists of members who were appointed to their positions.

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