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McDonnell opposes Kaine's proposed tax hike

Anita Kumar

In a diplomatic statement, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell said he respects many of the proposals Gov. Tim Kaine outlined in the two-year state budget unveiled this morning.

But, as we predicted, McDonnell did say that he opposes Kaine's idea to eliminate the car tax and instead raise the income tax.

"It is bad economic policy to increase taxes on Virginians, especially as they continue to struggle with the worst economy in generations,'' he wrote. "Families and businesses are making strategic reforms and deep cuts, and government must do the same. We must be looking for every means by which we can attract businesses and entrepreneurs to the Commonwealth. Capital is mobile and I do not support any measures that could dissuade investment in Virginia, or put the state at a competitive disadvantage with our neighbors."

Read the full statement below:

"In accordance with his responsibilities as the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Kaine has put forward his proposed budget for the 2011-2012 biennium. I fully recognize that this has not been an easy time in which to lead Virginia, and I respect the tough decisions that the Governor has had to make in this budget and in previous budget reductions. I also commend the Governor for his stated goals in preparing this document: preserving Virginia's Triple A bond rating, funding core government services, and making tough decisions necessary to position the Commonwealth for future economic growth. These are the right considerations in the preparation of a budget. I would add to them a focus on promoting policies which encourage job creation, and a restructuring of government in order to make it both more efficient and effective.

The budget put forward this morning contains numerous additional spending reductions and cuts. Budget adjustments of the magnitude necessary to equalize current state spending with the dramatic decline in revenue that the Commonwealth is experiencing cannot be made in a painless manner. The cuts proposed today will have a direct impact on Virginians in every county and city. While we both understand, and agree, that significant cuts must be made, we will differ on the specifics of those cuts. With that in mind, I am concerned with the effect that that the Governor's suggested cuts to law enforcement could have on public safety, a core responsibility of government.

I applaud the Governor for his willingness to make smart investments in Virginia's future during these tough times. The increase in funding for the Governor's Opportunity Fund in order to spur job creation is a step in the right direction, although more will be required to keep Virginia competitive. Further I support the Governor's direction of more education dollars to the classroom and out of overhead and administrative offices, as I pledged to do during our campaign.

I disagree, however, with the Governor's proposal to increase taxes. It is bad economic policy to increase taxes on Virginians, especially as they continue to struggle with the worst economy in generations. Families and businesses are making strategic reforms and deep cuts, and government must do the same. We must be looking for every means by which we can attract businesses and entrepreneurs to the Commonwealth. Capital is mobile and I do not support any measures that could dissuade investment in Virginia, or put the state at a competitive disadvantage with our neighbors.

In the weeks ahead I will review the Governor's proposed budget in further detail. I will work with the House and Senate money committee leadership in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the budget is balanced, realistic, encouraging of private sector job creation, and makes economic development investments crucial to the future prosperity and welfare of our citizens and our Commonwealth."

By Anita Kumar  |  December 18, 2009; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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