Skip to comments.First test of the sales tax increase: Thumbs down [VA State Senate]
Posted on 07/05/2002 8:46:48 AM PDT by VaFederalist
Among the leaders of the opposition to the proposed 11 percent sales tax increase on the ballot this November is a young Republican lawyer from Centreville named Ken Cuccinelli.
Today, Mr. Cuccinelli is the Republican nominee for the 37th District state Senate seat, recently vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Warren Barry.
The firehouse primary in which he was nominated, held June 27, was the first real test of voter sentiment on the sales tax referendum. The result was not promising for the tax increase.
Cuccinelli fiercely opposed both the proposed tax increase and the idea of holding the referendum in the first place. His across-the-board opposition to tax increases resonated deeply with voters and inspired hard-working volunteers to flock to his campaign from across Northern Virginia.
Indeed, Cuccinelli turned out more supporters last Thursday night than both Democrats combined at their firehouse primary the following Friday night, June 28. Cuccinelli's Democratic opponent, Cathy Belter, supports the 11 percent sales tax increase and is urging taxpayers to vote for it.
The general election in this race will be held Aug. 6. As Cuccinelli told a roomful of volunteers shortly before the primary, he and Belter are on opposite sides of every issue of principle, in a classic conservative-vs.-liberal matchup.
Besides their opposing views on the sales tax increase, they also differ on Cuccinelli's proposal to limit annual property tax increases to no more than 5 percent a year. Counties across Northern Virginia would then have to learn to live within the same budget as the region's families, where incomes do not regularly grow more than 5 percent per year either.
Moreover, Cuccinelli has already taken the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise taxes. So far, Belter has refused to do so.
Cuccinelli favors improving and building more roads and highways in the region to reduce traffic congestion, but not with higher taxes. Instead, he wants to slow the runaway growth in total state spending in recent years, and devote more of the tax dollars we are already paying to transportation.
Data recently obtained from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in Richmond, the state's official fiscal scorekeepers, show how reasonable this policy is. Based on the latest available estimates, total state spending in the current fiscal year from all sources will be 8.75 percent higher than last year.
Yet the proposed sales tax increase for Northern Virginia would raise revenues equal to about 0.5 percent of total state spending each year. That means if the state spending increase for this year had been slightly scaled back to a whopping 8.25 percent, the savings would have been enough to replace all of the revenues to be raised by the sales tax increase.
That same slight restraint in state spending every year would allow all of the transportation projects to be financed by the referendum to be built without the sales tax increase.
In a recent debate, tax increase advocate Del. Jeannemarie Devolites, R-Vienna, challenged taxpayer advocate Jim Parmelee to come up with an alternative plan if he didn't like the sales tax increase.
Well, this is the plan: modest restraint in the growth of runaway state spending, with the savings to be used to finance essential transportation projects.
Cuccinelli represents the wave of the future for the Republican Party in Virginia. The Republican Party base is not going to provide money, volunteers and votes for those who support wild annual spending and tax increases well in excess of the increase in personal income.
Such policies translate into taxes taking a bigger and bigger share of family incomes every year. That money grab is oppressive, counterproductive and politically unsustainable.
Many elected Republicans in the region have been bludgeoned into supporting the tax increase by the Big Developer lobby threatening to squeeze out their campaign funds unless they toe the line.
They should take their cue from the most politically successful Republican governors in the state's history: George Allen, now a U.S. senator, and Jim Gilmore.
When Allen came along in 1993, Republicans had not held the governorship for 12 years. The Big Developer lobby insisted that he support tax increases, not tax cuts, or they would cut off contributions to him.
Allen told them to get lost, raised his money elsewhere, ran on a strong tax cut platform and won the largest landslide for a non-incumbent Republican in the state's history.
Similarly, the Big Developer lobby told Gilmore he had to support a tax increase or they would cut off his business contributions. Gilmore decided instead to embrace the car tax cut, infuriating the tax-hike lobby. They have been out to destroy him ever since.
But that car tax cut transformed Gilmore from sure loser into another landslide winner for the GOP. Moreover, under the leadership of Allen and Gilmore, the Republicans took over the Virginia Legislature for the first time in history.
Cuccinelli is in the same winning Republican tradition as Allen and Gilmore. That is the future for other elected Republicans in Northern Virginia as well.
Another email update:
For more information about the Cuccinelli for VA Senate campaign please go to:
Cuccinelli for Senate
Please reserve Monday, July 22 on your calendars to attend a Bar-B-Que with U.S. Senator George Allen and Ken Cuccinelli, Republican Candidate for the Virginia Senate, 37th District.
To be held at the home of:
Bob and Barbara Ledoux
12825 Shadow Oak Lane
Fairfax, VA 22033
Levels of sponsorship:
Commoners of the Commonwealth: $50 per person/ $75 couple
Flag Wavers: $100 (2 tickets)
Fans of Freedom: $250 (2 tickets)
Lovers of Liberty: $500 (4 tickets)
Passionate Patriots: $1,000 (6 tickets)
You're not listed on the Virginia page, but you seem to be knowledgeable about the area. Consider me to be an emigre. Had I ample funds, I would happily support Ken's candidacy. As it is, I can hardly finance electoral efforts in my new home.
I've seen Cuccinelli's signs around, and he sounds like someone I could easily support. Especially if George Allen is headlining a fundraiser for him.
I see Jay O'Brien's written a letter to the editor in support of Ken Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli is my candidate
I want to urge Journal readers to take note of the upcoming special election on Aug. 6 to fill state Sen. Warren Barry's vacant seat.
The voters of the 37th Senatorial District have a clear choice: Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican whose commonsense conservative approach to state government is refreshing.
I am supporting Ken because I believe he is the most qualified candidate to represent Fairfax County's interests in the General Assembly.
Ken's successful experiences working with at-risk children in delinquency prevention, working in family crisis intervention, creating performance-based budget programs and working in our public schools on the SOLs, along with his work on the tax issue, make him the candidate with the broadest range of relevant experience in this race.
I have known both Ken and his wife, Teiro, for many years. They both grew up here and attended Fairfax County Public Schools and numerous Virginia universities (Ken has three different degrees from the University of Virginia and George Mason University).
Ken's commitment to our schools is simply beyond question. His education priorities include getting Fairfax its fair share of state funding and directing that funding to the classrooms to boost our anemic teacher pay and to make proven textbooks available to our kids.
Ken's opponent is suddenly talking about reducing class sizes, but she has voted twice to increase class sizes. She's suddenly talking about ``conservative fiscal policies," but she has voted for three massive budget increases in a row.
Ken's liberal opponent is suddenly trying to convince everyone that she is a moderate, and is desperately trying to hide her extreme liberal record on both fiscal issues and moral issues.
Ken has been straightforward with his positions, but his opponent appears to be avoiding taking many positions at all.
As a patent attorney, Ken understands Northern Virginia's high-tech economy. Ken will work diligently to improve local schools, raise education standards, reduce traffic congestion and hold the line on taxes and spending.
He will fight for our fair share of tax dollars to make sure Fairfax County can move forward in the coming decade.
DEL. JAY O'BRIEN
40th Legislative District
Ms. Belter has ensured that I'll be at the polls on 6 Aug - to vote for her opponent.
I know you're busy, but I bet Cuccinelli could use some help besides your vote on Election Day. ;^)
Email from the Cuccinelli campaign:
You are cordially invited to attend a Get Out The Vote Rally Fundraiser for Republican State Senate candidate, Ken Cuccinelli with Attorney General Jerry Kilgore as the Special Guest of Honor.
Thursday, August 1, 2002
Fairfax Volunteer Fire Department
4081 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Please bring checks to the door.
RSVP to Meredith@Cuccinelli.com or call 703-766-0635
The Special Election will be held on Tuesday, August 6, 2002. Every vote is critical. Cathy Belter's campaign has gone extremely negative and is pulling out all the stops to win. The campaign needs your support and volunteer assistance. Please call Meredith at 703-766-0635 if you can spare some time this week to lit drop, phone bank, or work the polls next Tuesday.
Thanks in advance for your support.
HORSEY FOR DELEGATE
Dr. Linda Horsey is the Republican candidate for the 89th House of Delegates District. To volunteer for the Horsey campaign call (757) 625-2907.
All donations can be sent to her mailing address at
PO Box 1515,
Norfolk, Virginia 23501.
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