Friday, October 30, 2009

Deeds v Mcdonnel: Taxes and Transportation

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by Mark Craig and Laura Peters

In the current state of the economy, the subject of taxation is never voter friendly. Candidates Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell bolster initiatives in creating tax breaks and boosting the economy. McDonnell’s plan emphasizes lowering taxes, trimming spending while improving free enterprise, and introducing new guidelines to solve transportation woes. While Deeds’s plan acts on solutions for homeowners and small businesses, the creation of jobs through his transportation plan, and simplifying Virginia’s government.

McDonnell wants to reduce business employment requirements for tax credits that create new jobs, back annual income credits for new green-jobs, and create the new role of job czar for the elected Lieutenant Governor to help stimulate Virginia’s economical future. In his plan, businesses will receive $1,000 tax credits for creating 50 new jobs, or 24 new jobs in distressed areas. Qualified energy-business will receive annual income credits for $500 for each new green job. The role of job czar involves coordination of economic development, as well as implementing new jobs for decaying state agencies.

While one the opposition, Deeds plans to offer small business tax breaks According to Deeds’s plan, businesses would be rewarded with a tax credit for the hiring of new workers or facility upgrades.

“My first priority is to create jobs in every corner of the Commonwealth and get the economy moving,” said Deeds. “That’s why I’ve focused on a plan to create jobs in every part of Virginia by awarding a tax credit for every job that’s created.”

McDonnell plans to audit state agencies in order to lower Virginia’s spending. He said tat with the doubling of the budget over the last decade a greater transparency is needed to make this state’s budget manageable.

Deeds plans to create a more efficient government by naming an efficiency improvement director from businesses, creating a state employee workforce plan, and promote energy savings within Virginia’s facilities.

According to Lisa Guthrie, the Executive Director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, Deeds has a good chance of making government more efficient.

“I think that in terms of job generation the creating of some research efforts will link a lot of these priorities together,” said Guthrie.

By utilizing the surplus revenues from the general fund and identifying efficiencies in the state budget, McDonnell can avoid tax increase.

Crystal Cameron, Bob McDonnell’s press secretary said that there are several other ways to avoid tax increases, and McDonnell plans to see that through.

“It’s called leadership, it’s called accountability, it’s called going in and redoing budgets.” said Cameron. “As attorney general he cut 14% of his budget and took a pay cut. There were several other measures that he took without raising taxes to balance his budget and he will do the same as governor.”

With Deeds’s transportation plan, efforts of reviving Virginia’s roads may need a bit more support. According to Deeds, with regards to transportation, no money will be taken away from education or other amenities involving the general fund.

“Frankly, it’s going to benefit all of Virginia. Transportation is the biggest impediment we have right now,” said Deeds. “A lot of people think of transportation as a Northern Virginia and a Hampton Roads type of issue. But, it’s a statewide issue. We lose opportunity in every part of

McDonnell wants to make road construction in Virginia an immediate four-year priority. McDonnell believes current roadway projects lag in accomplishing the results needed. His strategy contains four pillars. First, projects creating benefits for taxpayers must receive priority. Second, reduce the completion times for these projects. Third, better strategies for operations and maintenance of existing roadways and the fourth pillar calls for a more stable and effective transportation funding model.

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