We don't like saying we told you so, but we did (last week, click here). Governor Tim Kaine's "transportation plan" is nothing more than another massive tax-increase plan, as he will officially announce in a few minutes at the Capitol. Click here to see the Richmond Times-Dispatch's preview. If at first you don't succeed . . . try, try again to stick the taxpayers royally — as in the 2006 General Assembly when he, Mark Warner-like, broke his "no tax increase" pledge and proposed a whopper of one, topping his predecessor's 2004 largest-in-Virginia-history, $1.4 billion increase. So don't call the special session, to start June 23, a "transportation" session. Call it "The Tax Increase Session." Governor Kaine has got it all going on:
- A $10 increase in vehicle registration fees;
- An increase in the state's auto titling tax from 3 percent to 4 percent;
- A 1-cent regional sales-tax increase in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads (even though voters in those regions rejected that in referenda in 2002 and polls continue to show hostility toward them); and
- A statewide increase in the grantors tax, a tax paid when you sell your house.
So let's see: Governor Kaine hits families for about $20 per year more, for the typical two-car family (on top of previous vehicle registration increases); increases the sales tax for people who want to buy a new (most likely, gas-efficient) car; make all goods more expensive with a sales-tax increase; and allow you to keep less of your equity when you sell your home, just as home values are dropping steadily while property taxes continue to rage upward. Plus, nowhere is there mention of (as he also promised in campaign 2005) a locking up of transportation funds which he has tried to divert before. Nice!
The governor really knows his economics. Even the Washington Post today quotes a study saying Governor Kaine's plan hurts the poor the most (click here). (It takes a study to know this? And whatever happened to the Democrats standing up for the working poor?)
Beginning tomorrow night in Northern Virginia and again Thursday in Hampton Roads, according to the T-D, the governor will host a series of town hall meetings across the Commonwealth. A preview? According to the T-D article, Kaine told "Perspectives" host Barbara Berlin of Richmond PBS affiliate WCVE:
"I'm expecting [lawmakers] to step up to the bar and do the right thing for Virginia."
So the "right thing" is for Virginia's hard-working families to suck it up one more time; take one for team during an economic slowdown; all so Governor Kaine can purchase his legacy at our expense? Why is the "right thing" always taking away our hard-earned income? We think, in a $78 billion budget, the right thing is to rearrange priorities, eliminate waste and end useless programs that, if cut, no one would miss. Then the governor could pave our beautiful state all he wants and leave us taxpayers alone.