After a somewhat annoying silence on Governor McDonnell’s transportation tax hike, Ken Cuccinelli has come out in favor of a different tax hike, presented by State Senator Steve Newman (Washington Post):
Newman’s legislation would remove the 17.5-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline and diesel — McDonnell’s plan had kept it on diesel— and replace it with a new 5.5 percent sales tax on the wholesale price of fuel. The sales tax would remain at 5 percent for other items under Newman’s plan, which also does away with the fee hikes called for under McDonnell’s proposal.
Newman’s plan would lose about $20 million in fiscal 2014, but he said with inflation and increases in the cost of gas, it would bring in $500 million to $650 million a year by 2018. Those figures also count on $200 million a year from the federal legislation related to collecting online sales tax.
Newman had the unmitigated gall to call this tax hike, “a very conservative approach.”
Never mind that the national sales tax relies on Congressional approval (highly unlikely, as it was buried in Congress last year – even before Democrats had an incentive to oppose it). Never mind that there is not even the beginning of a discussion about reducing spending (especially on subdivision roads, which should be off the government maintenance grid entirely).
Mr. Newman and Mr. Cuccinelli (see previous link and Washington Examiner) would now have us believe that the “very conservative approach” to roads is to hit up the taxpayer for more revenue, the economy and efficiency in government be damned.
Unless tax cuts are added to this bill to make it a net tax-reduction (my preference remains cutting income tax), this is a tax increase…
…and for his refusal to demand one before falling in line behind it, Ken Cuccinelli is – I’m sorry (yet compelled) to say – a squish.