General Assembly Must Tame Its Appetite For Tax And "Fee" Increases

Yesterday, we asked you to contact your delegates and senators and urge them to support the three vital budget amendments that ban state funding for the partisan political organization Planned Parenthood, as well as the ones that ban embryonic stem cell research (which has not produced one medical advance) and elective abortions (Virginia funded 322 such abortions in 2006-2007). Today, we urge you to take action on the other side of the ledger. While we want to hold government spending to essential core services that fit the proper role of government — and eliminate excessive spending, especially for nefarious groups and causes — we also must make clear to our representatives that we are over taxed. In their work to close the $4 billion state budget deficit, our senators and delegates must know that they cannot bridge that gap on the backs of families, individuals and businesses who are struggling in this very tough economy.

The truth of the matter is that we have a "spending surplus" — not a deficit from a lack of revenue. In fact, if lawmakers are so concerned about the deficit, they should look at themselves before they do the taxpayers. The General Assembly has doubled spending in the Virginia budget over the last 10 years, several times the rates of inflation and population growth combined! But those facts don’t get in the way of special interest, big-government lobbyists who, unfortunately, have a lot of influence at the capitol. They will use every weapon in their arsenal to jack up taxes to pay for their pet projects and programs.

One weapon is the myth that public education is getting cut to the bone and that tax increases are necessary "for the children." However, spending on K-12 education in Virginia has increased by 60 percent over the last 10 years while enrollment in public schools has increased only 7.2 percent; and 60 percent of the budget is dedicated to education and health care. But the Senate (SB 30) and House (HB 30) budgets have $300 million and $76 million in tax and fee increases, respectively. When does it end?

The Senate budget increases the 911 "fee" on every cel phone and landline to pay for 911 centers. Two problems: The increased revenue won’t go to 911 centers and the "fee" as the Senate would have you believe, is defined as a tax in the Code of Virginia — and that’s just the beginning of what lawmakers want to do to you.

It’s time for lawmakers to do what Virginia families and job creators are doing — cut expenses! We can’t make money appear out of nowhere and the General Assembly shouldn’t try. Instead, it should tame its unabated appetite for hard-earned tax payer income.

Please contact your delegate and senator immediately and urge them to reject increased taxes and fees on Virginia families, individuals and businesses in the new budget .

If you know who they are, you can get their contact info here for delegates and here for senators. If you don’t know who your delegate and senator are, click here.