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Virginia's Grinch Comes Early This Year: McDonnell Unveils 2-Year Budget Proposal Targeting Cuts Towards Programs Supporting Most Vulnerable Citizens
"Pass the Buck" Bob's Christmas present to Virginia families targets cuts to those hit hardest by the recession
Governor McDonnell unveiled his two-year budget this morning in a speech to the legislative money committees and this particular Christmas present to Virginia families should be marked "return to sender." As predicted, the Governor's budget takes a cuts-only approach to close Virginia's projected $1 billion budget shortfall. The Governor's proposed cuts target programs for poor and needy families and seniors, delivering devastating budget cuts to education, health care, and social services.
"Governor McDonnell revealed his true priorities this morning and they could not be more out of step with Virginia families," said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. "While poverty in Virginia is on the rise, the Governor proposes slashing support to those hardest hit by the recession while preserving tax breaks and giveaways to big business and the 1%. These are not Virginia values."
According to the AP, the targets of McDonnell's budget cuts include Pre-K programs, Medicaid, indigent care, and long-term care. McDonnell's budget does not include proposals to close the tax loopholes and giveaways that riddle Virginia's tax code. A recent JLARC report found Virginia loses $12.5 billion in revenue a year through credits and giveaways that receive little-to-no scrutiny and accountability. The most egregious include:
- Over 60% of Virginia corporations pay no income tax in Virginia, while families on the Commonwealth are taxed on their income
- Thanks to loopholes, big business are able to dodge Virginia taxes by outsourcing the money they made here and importing losses from other states
- In 2008, coal companies received $31 million in tax breaks designed to slow layoffs in the industry. Instead, unemployment increased even more quickly than anticipated
- Sales taxes on yacht purchases are capped at just 2%, providing a huge tax break to buyers of a $100,000 yacht while Virginia families pay the full sales tax rate on their purchases