McDonnell's budget priorities
November 15, 2011
As the "Money Committee" retreats begin this week, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission released a new study (PDF) on Monday showing little state accountability or oversight of the $12.5B in tax breaks, credits, and loopholes written into the Virginia tax code. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis says Virginia faces an $800M shortfall for the upcoming two year budget.
The Progressive Point: Virginia faces difficult budget decisions this year, but instead of asking coal companies and the 1% to pay their fair share, corporate-backed Governor McDonnell wants to balance the budget on the backs of working families. Its time our leaders looked out for the people who elected them, not the people who bankroll their campaigns. Virginia can't afford more budget cuts that target nurses, teachers, and firefighters. Our economy can't prosper if the richest among us enjoy massive tax breaks while Virginia families live paycheck to paycheck--it's time to share the burden.
Get the Facts:
- According to JLARC, in 2008, coal companies in Virginia received $31M in corporate welfare designed to boost employment in the industry. Instead, coal companies laid off more workers. (JLARC Report-PDF,Washington Examiner)
- Tax breaks for yacht owners: Virginia taxes watercraft sales at a reduced rate compared to other goods and caps the total amount at $2,000, giving away massive tax breaks to owners of expensive yachts, while working families pay the full sales tax on everything they buy. (The Commonwealth Institute)
- In 2008, 64% of Virginia corporations paid no corporate income tax. (The Commonwealth Institute)
- "Unusually high unemployment for the state means welfare payments to families with dependent children is up 16 percent, while the number of people qualifying for Medicaid because of their poverty or disability is up 18 percent. The number of food stamp recipients is up 61 percent." (The Staunton News Leader)
- States that have cut the most spending over the past several years have lost the most jobs.
- Since the recession hit, most Americans say the best way to reduce the deficit is to get rid of tax breaks to millionaires and eliminate giveaways for oil companies.