Mark Warner on Tax Reform

Democratic VA Governor

Pushed $1.4B tax increase to close $6B budget shortfall

Gilmore, whose signature achievement as governor was his effort to eliminate Virginia’s car tax, frequently mentioned that Warner pushed through a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2004. The car tax never was fully revoked because of budget restraints.

Warner countered that the tax increase was needed to close a $6 billion budget shortfall that he said he inherited from Gilmore. Gilmore said he left office with a balanced budget. Gilmore said Warner’s tax increase did little to help road-building, and they were proof that Warner would support higher federal taxes as well. “Taxes are coming at us like a freight train,” Gilmore said. Gilmore was referring to Obama’s proposal to roll back Bush’s tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. Warner said he supports eliminating those tax cuts as a way of reducing the federal deficit.

Source: 2008 VA Senate debate reported in Washington Post Sep 19, 2008

Roll back top-tier tax breaks

Gilmore tried to portray Mark Warner as the mirror image of Barack Obama. “We have to put together an energy policy, financial policies that will do the right things for people, but Mark Warner wants to raise taxes; Barack Obama wants to raise taxes,” Gilmore said. “This is not going to be healthy for the economy in a time of stress.”

Warner said he has expressed support only for rolling back top-tier tax breaks by the Bush administration and is against tax increases on small businesses.

Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times Sep 19, 2008

Vetoed offshore drilling ban until more laws & facts known

RHETORIC: Gilmore: “Your Secretary of Finance John Bennett sent you a letter and reported in February [of 2004] and said ‘Guess what? Revenues are climbing’...Why didn’t you tell the people of Virginia what you knew and what you were being told so that tax increase could have gone forward with all the facts available and probably would have never been enacted. Why didn’t you tell the people of Virginia what you were being told by your own people?“

REALITY: The update to the Joint Finance Committee letters are public, e-mailed to all General Assembly members, and posted on the web just after the Governor receives it. The monthly revenue reports also are widely reported by the media

Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate: analysis by Warner campaign Jul 19, 2008

Gilmore promised car tax repeal at $620M; but it cost $2B

RHETORIC: Gilmore said, “It is not true that the car tax cost three times as much [in its repeal as Warner said it would when he was running for Governor].”

REALITY: While running for governor in 1997, Gilmore promised Virginia voters that his car tax repeal would cost no more than $620 million and would not require any cuts in core services. By the time Gilmore left, he cut millions from necessary programs and the car tax repeal was creating a nearly $2 billion hole in Virginia’s budget. [AP, 4/30/04

Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate: analysis by Warner campaign Jul 19, 2008

2003 tax package raised some taxes & removed low-income tax

The Commonwealth of Opportunity Tax Reform package Governor Warner presented in November 2003 was carefully and responsibly constructed to make Virginia’s tax code fairer.

The proposal raised some taxes, including Virginia’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax and income taxes on the very highest wage earners. It included a modest increase in the state sales tax, even as it cut the sales tax on food by 1.5 cents and removed 140,000 lower-income Virginians from the tax rolls altogether.

Source: Campaign website, www.markwarner2008.com, “Issues” Mar 9, 2008

Cut taxes for at least 65% of Virginians

Our budget and tax reform plan makes Virginia ‘s tax system fairer. It does this by lowering the income tax for most Virginians; by finally keeping the promise of the car tax cut and the food tax cut; by ending the estate tax for farms & small businesses and by closing the loopholes that allow many major corporations to avoid paying their fair share. It adds one penny to the sales tax, and it creates a new income tax bracket, affecting less than 8% of upper-income Virginians.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to General Assembly Jan 14, 2004

Other candidates on Tax Reform: Mark Warner on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010