Sunday, January 22, 2006

Now More Than Ever

Two competing transportation plans for Virginia, each proposing a broad range of new taxes and fees, were introduced on Friday.

Whatever the merits and eventual outcome of these plans, a few implications for the Cost Cutting Caucus should be noted.

Whenever government raises taxes, cost cutting is imposed on families. Try as we might to claim that a tax increase is small or not noticeable, the fact remains that families often "stretch" to purchase necessary items. If new taxes add to the cost of a new car or a car repair, for example, the "stretch" might be too much and families will put off that purchase or expenditure. Alternatively, they will be forced to cut back on something else.

If elected leaders seek more money from families, they should be willing to tighten government's belt to ensure that any tax increase is really necessary or that it is as small as possible. Government should not be immune from the challenges it imposes on families.

The Cost Cutting Caucus can be a belt-tightening monitor.

The new transportation plans are being presented as responses to a "transportation crisis." If something is a "crisis," it presupposes that it has a higher priority. Prioritization shouldn't just be throwing more money at the "crisis" while keeping (or even increasing) spending on less pressing government activities.

The Cost Cutting Caucus can help shape priorities and apply savings to the "crisis" or to more pressing demands.

Although times are good, Virginia families face an array of increased expenses in 2006. Real estate assessments are up, car tax payments will be higher, energy prices are up, credit card minimum payments have increased ... the list goes on. Families will have to prioritize and cut costs. Government should, too.


  • If the numbers in this article are true, then the increases ($942/yr) are NOT small. That's $80/month. That's a lot in my family! And what are we getting for our $80/month? Nothing! (unless you live in NoVa) I'll say it over and over again - No new taxes until we figure out how to maintain the roads we already have and have a new STATEWIDE plan on transportation. Throwing money at NOVA is not the answer.

    In my little opinion, it's time to say the motel is full in NoVa for now. When we figure out a way to maintain what we already have and need, we can discuss what more we want.

    By Blogger Lucy Jones, at 1/22/2006 11:44 AM  

  • The Democrats have been talking for years, ever since the Bush tax cuts took effect, that the middle class is paying for everything. The Virginia economy, as well as the national economy is strong and the budget has grown out of control. Let the Government trim the waste and projects that they really don't need to find the funds for this "Crisis"

    By Blogger RightsideVA, at 1/22/2006 6:31 PM  

  • I agree with both posts here. I do not see the GOP lining up behind ending the car tax with all these surplus funds!!! The tax is now felt by working families since it is still hitting the first 20% of the 20K on a car.

    Those with cars valued over 20K pay full boat up to the value of the car... That can be $200-300 bucks...(depending on locality) The car tax is alive and well.

    The GOP came to power by cutting taxes, and that was the main tax.. Look at Jerry Kilgore's failed campaign... it maybe coming home to other legislators who will not cut taxes!!!!

    By Blogger spankthatdonkey, at 1/22/2006 7:45 PM  

  • Lucy, I agree with you that the motel is full in NOVA. New development should go someplace else, and you shouldn't have to pay to support a Metro you never use.

    I believe the fact remains that more money flows out of NOVA to support roads than flows in. Part of our problem here is that this situation has been true for a long time, and it is going to take time and money to fix the problem.

    Both of us are stymied by PEC which spends a lot of time and money lobbying and dispensing their brand of information to the public.

    By Blogger Ray Hyde, at 1/24/2006 12:04 PM  

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