Home 2017 Races Perriello Unveils Progressive Tax Plan for Virginia

Perriello Unveils Progressive Tax Plan for Virginia

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There’s a lot of great stuff in here – needless to say, infinitely superior to the horrendously bad tax “plan” by right wingnut “Enron Ed” Gillespie – which I strongly support. One omission I see, which I would urge Democratic candidates to advocate for, is bringing back the estate tax, which was highly unwisely eliminated back in 2006. Among other things, the estate tax repeal deprived Virginia’s budget of more than $100 million a year in revenues – money that could have been spent on education, environmental protection, transportation (e.g., rail, bike paths) – while benefiting a few super-rich Virginia families.

Tom Perriello Unveils Plan to Support Progressive Growth-Oriented Priorities for Middle and Working Class Virginians by Fixing Our Tax System
As President Trump Proposes Massive Federal Tax Cuts for Rich and Big Corporations, Perriello’s Plan Provides Middle Class Tax Cut and Funds Virginia Investments to Spur Growth and Raise Incomes
Plan Is Most Serious Proposal in Race So Far to Refocus Tax Code to Benefit Middle and Working Class Virginians
 
Today, Tom Perriello, Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, is announcing a serious tax reform proposal that gives the middle class a tax cut and funds the boldest working families agenda ever proposed by a candidate for governor, including paid leave, universal pre-kindergarten, and two years free community college, trade school or apprenticeship. The proposal asks the very wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share, while cutting wasteful spending and eliminating loopholes and credits that overwhelmingly benefit those at the top, so the tax code can be fairer and generate revenues needed to make growth-oriented investments in middle and working class Virginians.
Tom is proposing a sensible pro-growth plan to raise incomes and expand Virginia’s economy from the middle out — a sharp contrast with both President Trump’s recently proposed federal tax plan, which could be worse than the Bush tax cuts, and Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Ed Gillespie’s tax plan, which would give the wealthy a massive tax cut. Gillespie’s $1.3 billion tax cut overwhelmingly benefits those at the very top without explaining the cuts he would make to Virginia services to pay for it.
 
“It is long past time to replace Republican tax plans that suffocate real growth in Virginia. We need new ideas that grow our economy from the middle class out, remove special rules for the most powerful, and allow us to invest in our people,” said Tom Perriello. “Most Virginia incomes haven’t gone up in 20 years, and I am the only candidate in this race outlining how to achieve a real agenda to support working and middle class families to spur economic growth. Meanwhile, Ed Gillespie is pushing a $1.3 billion tax cut that largely benefits a select few, and he’s not even telling Virginians what he’ll cut to pay for it. We saw this movie before when he directed it for George W. Bush and it bankrupted the country. We don’t want the sequel imposed on Virginia.”
Gillespie claims his proposal would give nearly $1,300 in tax cuts annually to a “typical” family, but according to our analysis, only families making more than $237,000 a year would see a benefit that large. A family of four earning Virginia’s median income of $65,000 a year would get roughly a quarter of that, or around $300, from Gillespie’s plan, which would disproportionately benefit millionaires and outlines zero cuts he would make to pay for it — a strategy which earned him the nickname “Mr. Free Lunch” by the Washington Post. Tom’s plan includes a real tax cut for middle class families, by offering them a $500 refundable child care tax credit. In addition, Tom has previously outlined serious reforms to put more money in the pockets of middle and working class Virginians, from fully funding universal pre-K to allowing student debt refinancing to guaranteeing eight weeks of paid leave.
 
Tom’s plan also begins to address the structural inequality in Virginia’s tax code. Under current law, any Virginian making more than $17,001 a year pays an income tax rate of 5.75 percent — which means millionaires, or even billionaires, can be in the same tax bracket as someone working full-time and making just above the minimum wage. Tom is outlining a new tax bracket structure for Virginians making more than $500,000 a year — a plan that would only affect the top 0.79 percent of Virginia income-earners — while closing wasteful spending loopholes in Virginia’s tax code that allow the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on high-end services like limousine rides, golf courses, and lobbying. More than 99 percent of Virginians would see no change to their income tax rate.
 
“It is unfair and anti-growth that a Virginian making $18,000 a year pays the same income tax rate as someone making $18,000,000. We can make our tax code fairer while giving the middle class a tax cut and generating revenues to fund key priorities for working families,” Perriello added. “For years, we have been told that cutting taxes for those at the very top will trickle down to the rest of us; but the evidence is clear: growth is driven from the middle class out. I am proposing an aggressive new growth strategy of investing in Virginia’s workers, students and families to raise incomes and boost our economy.”
 
Tom’s proposal costs less than Gillespie’s $1.3 billion tax cut, and key components include:
  • Gradually raising income tax rates 1 percentage point on those making more than $500,000 a year and 1.5 percentage points on those making more than $1,000,000 a year — meaning more than 99 percent of Virginians will see no change to their income tax rate.
  • Cutting taxes for middle class families through a $500 refundable child care tax credit.
  • Reducing gender inequality in the tax code, including by ending the “Tampon Tax” and making the Earned Income Tax Credit refundable.
  • Ending special exemptions that largely benefit the wealthy by removing carveouts for high-end services like country clubs, limousines, or lobbying.
  • Closing the corporate “reporting” loophole that allows large corporations to shift profits to low- or no-tax states to avoid paying their fair share.
  • Creating a minimum tax floor for the most profitable big companies so they don’t game the system to avoid taxes altogether.
  • Cutting wasteful spending, tax credits and cash grants, such as reforming state lottery spending and ending pension spiking by elected officials, among other provisions.
Tom’s full tax reform proposal can be viewed on Medium here.

 

  • Another Scott

    Thanks for highlighting this.

    It looks like a good plan, and it’s good to see that he talks about more than just income tax rates – he also talks about specific benefits that large corporations and industries have written into the Virginia tax code.

    All I’ve seen thus far about Northam’s plans is that he wants to eliminate the sale tax on food (which seems like a very small item). (There may be more out there – I just haven’t seen it yet.) It’ll be interesting to see how he responds.

    Cheers,
    Scott.