Mark Warner on Tax Reform
Democratic Jr Senator; previously Governor
Warner countered that the tax increase was needed to close a $6 billion budget shortfall that he said he inherited from Gilmore. Gilmore said he left office with a balanced budget. Gilmore said Warner’s tax increase did little to help road-building, and they were proof that Warner would support higher federal taxes as well. “Taxes are coming at us like a freight train,” Gilmore said. Gilmore was referring to Obama’s proposal to roll back Bush’s tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. Warner said he supports eliminating those tax cuts as a way of reducing the federal deficit.
Warner said he has expressed support only for rolling back top-tier tax breaks by the Bush administration and is against tax increases on small businesses.
REALITY: The update to the Joint Finance Committee letters are public, e-mailed to all General Assembly members, and posted on the web just after the Governor receives it. The monthly revenue reports also are widely reported by the media
REALITY: While running for governor in 1997, Gilmore promised Virginia voters that his car tax repeal would cost no more than $620 million and would not require any cuts in core services. By the time Gilmore left, he cut millions from necessary programs and the car tax repeal was creating a nearly $2 billion hole in Virginia’s budget. [AP, 4/30/04
The proposal raised some taxes, including Virginia’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax and income taxes on the very highest wage earners. It included a modest increase in the state sales tax, even as it cut the sales tax on food by 1.5 cents and removed 140,000 lower-income Virginians from the tax rolls altogether.
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