Budget Realities, Unreasonable Tax Pledges, and Betrayal


    During a town hall in Cape Charles, Virginia, Senator Ralph Northam (D-6th) and Delegate Lynwood Lewis (D-100th) discuss potential revenues and further cuts in the Virginia budget. Senator Northam (D-6th) places the budget cuts in perspective and confirms that unconditional tax pledges take workable solutions off the table.

    “A penny added to our gasoline is about $50 million…

    North Carolina has a gasoline tax of 30 cents; Virginia has a tax of 17 cents. If you drive from Virginia to North Carolina, you’ll notice a couple of things. One, the roads are much better; two, the price of gas is maybe 2 or three cents higher on the average. So what happens is the fuel companies compensate, they even out the prices so that there is not a big difference state to state.” – Senator Ralph Northam

    And from Senator Northam’s 14 January General Assembly Update:

    “Last month, Governor McDonnell made some suggestions for how he envisions us rebalancing the state budget. My colleagues and I have been reviewing his plan, and while I support some of his ideas, there are others that I find troubling, especially his proposal to have teachers and state employees pay more into their own pension plans.  Most importantly, I don’t believe it is fair to change the rules of the game for people who are planning their futures around a retirement we promised them.  It is true, however, that we need to address the issue of solvency in the Virginia Retirement System, and I applaud the Governor for tackling it head-on.  I am confident that in the coming weeks we will arrive at a better solution.” – Senator Ralph Northam

    The McDonnell approach to state finance: borrow and spend. The Governor’s shell game is a shameful ruse to shift the burden for his “accomplishments” to vested state employees and future taxpayers, and the blame to his successors. Sadly, some Democrats are beginning to acquiesce to pressure to deliver any solution to our transportation problems.

    • Jim B

      Until the republicans get over their anti tax screed nothing will ever get done. See in Post this morning the gov wants use sales tax for roads. What happens to those projects funded by the sales tax? I agree with Senator Northam. With gas around 3 bucks a gallon who would notice a few cents increase in the gas tax? Yeah, I know some dumbass republican would.

    • Jim B

      But, doesn’t our constitution allow taxation? Maybe the repugs need to get that part repealed before taxes are eliminated.