Skip to comments.Virginia: Senate Passes Budget With New Taxes
Posted on 02/20/2004 7:48:10 AM PST by cogitatorEdited on 07/20/2004 11:51:02 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Virginians would pay $2 billion a year in new taxes on sales, salaries, smokes and motor fuel under a plan tentatively approved yesterday by the state Senate on a voice vote.
"I hate taxes, but I love Virginia more," said Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., R-Winchester. Capping nearly two hours of sometimes-testy debate, moderate Republicans teamed with Democrats to easily keep anti-tax Republicans from weakening the package, which also includes tax breaks for the poor as well as millionaires.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesdispatch.com ...
Va. Senate Endorses Tax Jump"
Two-Year Increase Totals $3.6 Billion
Here's my favorite part of that article:
"Two things happened to change their minds. [about tax increases]
"The Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the state's largest and oldest business group, endorsed almost all of Warner's tax plan, infuriating House Republicans, who declared that if business groups want higher taxes, the GOP would give them some."
OK, so right now I visualize the Virginia House and Senate this way: two clean lines of blue and gray, facing each other on either sides of a cornfield, muskets drawn, awaiting the order to fire.
Antietam was a bloody draw. I'm predicting the same for this battle.
And also: I think that it's obvious Chichester collaborated with Warner on this plan, because the compromise will likely come down very near Warner's proposal. It's bizarre that they freeze car-tax relief when everybody hates the car tax; I think it very likely that the full car-tax repeal will be put back into the final bill, similar to Warner's plan, because that would make everybody muddied in this session look a little cleaner.
This is a lie. State spending was not reduced by $6 billion. State spending was increased, but not as much (i.e. $6 billion less than) the amount the various agencies requested.
It's past time for our next guv wannabe to take a firm stand on one side or the other.
Show us a little leadership there, Jerry.
(Or do we start spelling your name "Jerri"?)
Yes, but as the articles indicate (and has been known for a while) the Republicans in the Virginia Senate are a different brand of Republican than the Republicans in the Virginia House.
Grover Norquist called the head of the Finance Committee in the Virginia Senate, John Chichester, who wrote the framework for this budget and tax increase, a "pre-Reagan Republican".
It's always interesting to me to see the culture war within the Republican Party, considering what it takes to be a Republican in Maryland. We have a few straight conservative Republicans here (such as my representative, Roscoe Bartlett, and in the state house we've got Alex Mooney, who's almost too conservative for the conservative Republicans) -- but the majority of Maryland Republicans are moderates in order to survive and get elected. If they weren't, there'd be even MORE Democrats in the Maryland State House, which would be awful.
As has been pointed out, these Senate Republicans are terribly proud of Virginia's reputation for fiscal discipline, and that cherished AAA bond rating. [The value of a AAA bond rating shouldn't be dismissed; virtually every state that still has one has fought hard to keep it, because it helps significantly to keep state expenditures down.] They've been told, pretty directly, that the state is going to need a long-term revenue plan that shows balance to keep the AAA rating. They were told that one-time fixes and accounting gimmicks is not the way to do it. What I've not heard in any of this from the Virginia House Republicans is whether or not they think their plan would do enough to keep the AAA bond rating. I can gawran-dam-tee that issue will be repeatedly raised in the closed-door negotiation sessions on the budget.
Apparently, it takes much more of a man than Norment to bite the bullet and actually CUT SPENDING.
I find it hard to believe that Virginians needed a 58% increase in state government services in the last 6 years.
And the damn car tax is a travesty.
You should send your suggestion to Vince Callahan in the Virginia House. When it came down to the last $1 billion in the $57 billion budget, Callahan said the cuts would be "very painful". That's because a lot of the spending is allocated by unfunded federal mandates, homeland security (Virginia is getting hit hard by HS costs), Medicare, Medicaid, and minimum requirements for spending on public safety, social services and education.
It won't be empty on Sunday. The Virginia House Budget will show exactly what they want to spend on, and what they don't. From what I've read already, there's a $738 million dollar difference in what the Senate would spend on transportation projects compared to the House: $62 million for transportation in the House Budget (over 2 years!) compared to $800 million in the Senate budget.
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