transportation fund lock box

Job For A Day (Or, What I'd Like To Ask The Governor)

We all have those moments when we wish we could be a type of person or hold a certain job for a day for a very specific reason. For me, it's to be cop just to pull over the people who insist on making me hear their abominable taste in so-called music, even though my windows are up and I have on my own music. But with the Special Tax Session about to reconvene, I have come to wish to be a reporter for a day, with a one on one interview with the governor. These are some of the questions I'd ask him regarding his billion-dollar tax increase plan: The first one is a repeat:

1. Before the government requires us to cut our own family budgets, why don't you first spend the $400 million already appropriated from last year's transportation bill that wasn't repealed?

2. How did it happen that the budget more than doubled over the last 10 years, seven of which while you were in statewide office, despite the relatively small increase in inflation and population growth?

3. How many families' budgets more than doubled during these same past 10 years?

4. If transportation is such a crisis, why haven't you prioritized spending your three years as governor, taking the last one billion dollars out of the $78 billion in your two-year budget and putting that toward transportation?

5. You admitted we are in a slow economy now and face uncertainty with high food and gas prices and problems in the mortgage industry. So how is reducing the disposable income of individual Virginians and families through tax increases going to help them get by?

6. If transportation funding is such a priority, why won't you agree to support a transportation fund lock box to guarantee all taxes for transportation only get spent on transportation and not on non-related programs?

7. You campaigned with everything you had to flip the Virginia Senate to Democrat control. Why can't you find a Democrat Senator to patron your billion-dollar tax increase package?

6. With real estate prices dropping and people selling their homes short — for less than what they owe — how is raising the grantor's tax good for the depressed real estate market (which, when booming, was a significant reason for Virginia budget surplusses)?

7. Why not use money from future profits at the Port of Virginia instead of raising taxes?

8. Is it arrogant to think that while we have to do with much less, the government, with a $78 billion budget, must do with more — at our expense? 

And finally . . . when you campaigned for governor, didn't you say you were "not in for a tax increase"?

We'll see if anyone in the mainstream media will ask any of these questions, but we're not holding our breath. In the meantime, for the fun of it, let us know here what you would ask Governor Kaine and maybe we'll get it to him somehow — or click here to contact him and ask him directly, and let us know what canned response you get.

Poll Results: Special Tax Session

The poll results are in: the top vote getters are in italics, below. Thanks to all you voted and commented. The winner in the first question is what we expected, but by a much smaller margin than we thought; the second place answer is pretty surprising. The second question went pretty much according to expectations.

Feel free to post your comments on the results of the polls, what has happened thus far in The Special Tax Session and what might still happen, as well as any ideas you have for improving Virginia's transportation system and its funding, on this thread. We look forward to offering more polls in the future. 

What do you think will happen at the Special Tax Session?

  • Enact Governor Tim Kaine's $1 billion tax increase: 0%

Poll: What Do You Think Should Happen At The Special Tax Session?

We all know what the governor and many legislators want to happen at The Special Tax Session starting June 23. But what do you think should happen? Then, after you vote, post your solutions, ideas and comments on this thread. Who knows? Maybe somebody in the General Assembly will like what you think. Remember our lottery idea? If you are creative enough, anything is possible. Voting ends June 25.

Poll: What Do You Think Will Happen At The Special Tax Session?

There are a lot of proposed ideas for the upcoming Special Tax Session of the General Assembly. Here are a few that have been floated. Which one will prevail? Or will nothing at all happen? How should Virginia tackle its transportation problems? Let us know what you think and post your ideas on this thread after you vote. Voting ends June 25.