Virginia is for tax hikes. In Tim Kaine’s Virginia, you can be assured that change will be sucked out of your pockets by the tax-uum (tax vacuum). With our state experiencing a $3 billion deficit, a tax hike is no doubt in the back of Tim Kaine’s mind to raise taxes as a means to compensate for Virginia’s shortfall.
Of course, Kaine has ensured he would implement “$358 million in annual spending reductions.” Aside from the spending restrictions, Kaine has decided to slash jobs, enact a hiring freeze, and even reduced his own salary. Although he mentions that he will keep the budget balanced without a tax increase, this is just a false assurance, as Kaine will most likely be forced to make a tax increase somewhere along the line. That being said, Kaine should be applauded for at least addressing the issue by making cuts within his own office before pondering tax increases immediately.
Although there are cuts within the Governor’s office, there will be cuts in other areas. Education funding will be slashed, as higher education will suffer with a 15% reduction. As attending a four-year college or university is expensive (trust me, I can attest as I am paying an exorbitant amount every month in student loans), more students will be facing higher tuition rates.
As for health care, Kaine will be raising the cigarette tax. This is the first in the pending tax hikes that Virginia will be facing. Raising taxes is wrong and is not a common sense solution. As a non-smoker, I still feel raising the cigarette tax will do more harm than good. Medicaid reductions will also be limited due to a possible demand in obtaining these services.
Lastly, transportation was mentioned. VDOT’s services will be streamlined and there will be layoffs within VDOT. Kaine mentioned Obama’s dedication to work on improving the transportation infrastructure.
As someone who is against any (and every) tax hike, I have a feeling Kaine wanted to water down his budget talk to avoid addressing an issue that would enrage Virginians. Tax hikes do not solve the problems we face, and in fact, they will cause more harm than good in our fledgling economy. We are in an economic recession and jobs are being cut all over the place. The General Assembly session will no doubt be interesting to watch in 2009.
**Here is the link to the Governor’s web site.**