That was the headline in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch. As you likely have read in various news reports, the Democratic-led Senate of Virginia made their views on gas prices loud and clear yesterday: "you're not paying enough".
Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) proposes to hike gas taxes 6-cents per gallon statewide; a 5% increase statewide in the sales tax; and increases the sales tax on new car purchases.
That's not all! Saslaw's bill also includes additional tax hikes on hardworking Northern Virginia families -- including even higher sales taxes and increasing the taxes for the privilege to sell your home (we aren't making this stuff up). It is worth noting that this NoVA sales tax hike is the very same one voters rejected in referendum in 2002 by a strong 55-45% vote.
First you have Governor Tim Kaine traveling the Commonwealth attempting to sell the citizens of Virginia on his $1.1 billion tax increase plan, and now you have the Senate Democratic leader upping the ante.
But wait... what ever happened to the Governor's plan? Here's what the Washington Post had to say:
"After a day of fierce partisanship and escalating rhetoric, Senate Democrats ignored a proposal by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), approving a plan that would raise the gas tax over the next six years, increase the statewide sales tax by 0.25 percent and boost the tax on vehicle purchases by 0.5 percent."
With the Governor's mansion and Senate both controlled by Democrats, one would think that they could come together and unify behind some sort of plan to address Virginia's transportation challenges. Guess not.
Democrats have little to offer other than the same tired approach of calling for more of your hard-earned money every time government faces a challenge. Raising taxes is the only solution Democrats seem to ever have.
I wonder if Virginia taxpayers can go to their bosses every time they face tight times? Probably not.
Democrats just don't get it.
At a time when Virginians all across the Commonwealth are paying record, wallet-flattening prices at the gas pump, higher food prices, and also trying to negotiate the uncertainty of an economic slowdown, Democrats in Richmond want you to cut your family budget because government refuses to better prioritize it's budget.
The good news is that your General Assembly Republicans are united in opposing these taxes. Not a single Republican Senator supported the Democrat's tax-and-spend plan.
Most people in Virginia believe that when your state budget doubles in 10 years, there are opportunities to find efficiencies and innovations that can make government serve the people’s needs without always resorting to higher taxes as a solution -- and this is exactly what Republicans in Richmond are working to do to meaningfully address transportation over the long term.Republican Party of Virginia
Jeffrey M. Frederick, Chairman
Bold, new leadership. Now is the time.