Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cuccinelli announces his economic growth and jobs plan

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and candidate for governor.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and candidate for governor.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli unveiled his Economic Growth and Virginia Jobs Plan Tuesday. The plan is designed to make Virginia more attractive to job creators and allow middle class workers to keep more of their hard-earned pay. The plan will reduce the size and scope of state government he said.

The goals are three-fold: “Make Virginia more attractive to job creators and open to business development; allow Virginia workers and families to take home more of their hard-earned pay; and put a cap on government spending so that it doesn’t outpace the growth of inflation plus population.”

His Small Business Tax Relief Commission would take on the task of eliminating or reducing the harmful effects of the Business Professional Occupational License (BPOL) Tax, the Machine and Tool (M&T) Tax, and the Merchants Capital (MC) Tax, reduce the Personal Income Tax and the Corporate Income Tax and eliminate outdated exemptions and loopholes.

Over a four-year period his plan reduces the individual income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5 percent, reduces the corporate income tax from 6 percent to 4 percent and ensures that state government growth does not exceed inflation plus population growth.

“It has always been important to me to get government out of the way and allow the free market to create jobs for unemployed Virginians.” Cuccinelli’s said his first policy announcement demonstrates the importance he places on economic growth and jobs.

Cuccinelli said he didn’t take the task of writing this plan lightly. Virginia job creators, policy leaders and middle class families were all taken into consideration to ensure the plan made sense and was applicable to regular Virginians, not just policy wonks.

“If I am elected governor, this plan will be the cornerstone of my term. I will work closely with the business community and Virginia General Assembly to make this policy a reality because I know this is what the Commonwealth needs to attract and grow businesses, and to stay competitive with neighboring states,” said Ken Cuccinelli.

Sen. Ralph Smith (R-19) enthusiastically endorsed the tax relief plan saying, “We are in tough competition with other states that are just as hungry to attract and develop new jobs. I’ve long supported closing tax loopholes and lowering overall state tax rates.,” said Smith.

Other Virginia Republican legislators gave their thumbs up to Cuccinelli’s plan. Senators Tom Garrett, Bryce Reeves, Delegates Rich Anderson, Tim Hugo and Jim LeMunyon all sent out congratulation expressing excitement and support for legislation that would enact Cuccinelli’s growth and job’s plan.

As local leaders around Virginia have had a chance to digest the plan their reactions have not been favorable: 

Former Republican 40-year Delegate Vince Callahan Jr who served as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee called Cuccinelli’s new tax plan ideological and would have a negative impact:

“Cuccinelli is proposing to reduce taxes, but is silent as to where will the needed revenue come from. Reducing taxes would have a huge negative impact on state services, including, but not limited to, education and safety services. Core services under this plan would have to be reduced or eliminated, and there is no indication as to which ones in this proposal will be cut. State taxes in Virginia are relatively low, which is why Virginia is considered a good state in which to do business.

“Another question which arises from the across the board revenue reductions is: what impact would this reduction have on car tax relief, which has been in the budget since the Gilmore administration? That program requires an annual appropriation, and can not be eliminated without resulting in a huge cut to Virginia localities.

“Democratic House Caucus Leader David Toscano released this statement following Ken Cuccinelli’s failed attempt to propose a specific and responsible tax plan for the Commonwealth: “Virginia’s Governors have a long standing history of fiscal responsibility and balancing the budget while making the Commonwealth friendly for business. Ken Cuccinelli’s new tax proposal is short on specifics, and would either force cuts in schools and public safety, throw our budget irresponsibly out of balance, or both. It would also threaten our AAA bond rating. Virginians deserve a Governor who puts jobs and the state’s economy ahead of political gimmickry.”

Hampton Mayor Molly Ward said: “Drastic budget cuts at the state level will necessarily result in additional stress on municipal budgets for police, fire and schools that our communities can not afford. The responsible approach requires a realistic and concrete balance which is not evident in Mr. Cuccinelli’s proposal.”

Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors said: “Local governments and our taxpayers will no doubt end up picking up the tab for the loss in state funding created by Ken Cuccinelli’s unrealistic plan. It sounds a lot like the ‘no car tax’ debacle the state is still trying to dig itself out of more than a decade later.”

The plan can be found online here.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2013, Elections, Politics, State Politics

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