As the countdown to the Special Tax Session of the General Assembly begins (it starts two weeks from today) we take notice of a post from yesterday at Tertium Quids about one of the chief lobbying/special interest groups supporting massive tax increases. Click here to read it. Basically, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce is pushing for tax increases (as noted in an op-ed Tertium Quids cites). However, as blogger Norman Leahy reminds us, the Chamber fought like crazy four years ago an attempt to close certain tax loopholes that benefited its members. Here's an excerpt:
Let's just accept these contentions as true. If we really, honestly, need a broad revenue base to address the unmet needs of paving contractors across the state — and "everyone should share in paying for them" — then the first thing the legislature needs to do is look closely at the tax code and close the various and sundry loopholes that the Chamber and its allies have carved out over the years.In other words, if the Chamber wants more taxes — fine. Let's make sure all of their members pay them, too.
It also illustrates how those opposing tax increases have failed to properly frame the issue, at least as it concerns the business community.
It may sound populist, but it is the truth: Certain elements of the business community want higher taxes because it serves as a government subsidy that lines their pockets. All of a sudden the shopping centers, condos and office complexes they own or plan to develop, with new roads built nearby with massive new taxes, become more affordable to build and profitable to keep. It is someone else paving the way (literally) for their projects' success by decreasing their own investment costs by shifting those costs to taxpayers. When the government pays for projects to benefit a private project it's called a subsidy — or a transfer of wealth. By any standard these proposed tax increases qualify as money would be transferred from families and individuals to those who have commercial interests from which to make personal gain.
Call it corporate welfare, call it anything you want. It is still government extracting money from private citizens to help certain businesses pay for projects that benefit their bottom line. Their hypocricy in preserving their own tax breaks proves it.