In 1966, a new distribution went into effect that gave Northern Virginia more representation in the state legislature. This resulted in a tax anathema on sales for Byrd and his allies, creating a divide between this region and the rest of the state. Geographically, Northern Virginia is only 7 percent of the state's land area, but it has managed to gain influence due to the Dillon Rule. This rule was named after John Dillon, a mid-19th century Iowa judge. In 2002, Northern Virginia was able to vote in favor of a half-cent increase in sales taxes to pay for new roads and public transportation.
This was met with opposition from both anti-tax conservatives and smart growth activists who argued that more roads would lead to more expansion. Despite these challenges, Robert Lang of the Metropolitan Institute of Virginia Tech states that this region has become an extension of the urbanized Northeastern corridor. In 1986, Northern Virginia secured the largest spending package in 20 years which was dedicated to transportation. This package helped improve the infrastructure of this region and allowed it to compete with DC and Maryland suburbs. Estimates that this region sends more money to Richmond than it receives do not take into account the matching money spent on federal highway projects. The impact of politics on culture in Northern Virginia has been immense.
This region has seen an influx of immigrants from other countries which has changed its culture significantly. Smart growth activists have argued against increased taxes while anti-tax conservatives have argued against increased roads. Despite these challenges, Northern Virginia has managed to make progress with its infrastructure and culture.