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If McEachin Thinks Hybrid Tax is So Bad, Why'd He Vote for It?

by: TheGreenMiles

Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:33:38 AM EST


the.biggest.loser-logo.jpgGov. Bob McDonnell's transportation package included a new tax on hybrid cars, because apparently Virginia is not addicted enough to expensive energy that gives our kids asthma and fuels climate change. Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Scott Surovell, who wisely voted against the transportation package, launched a petition this week calling on Gov. McDonnell to veto the new tax on fuel-sippers.

Sen. Donald McEachin voted FOR the terrible transportation package. (Did I mention there's plenty of evidence the gas tax cut will mean the same gas prices for Virginia drivers but a massive giveaway of higher profits for oil companies?) But today, McEachin sent an email claiming the hybrid tax, which made national headlines, was "hidden" in the transportation bill and linking not to the existing Democratic petition, but to a petition of his own calling for the hybrid tax's repeal.

McEachin's disingenuous email puts him in a long line of Virginia Democrats who've helped Republicans achieve their goals, then afterwards claim they wuz robbed (see: Mary Margaret Whipple on the Dominion re-regulation bill; anything Dick Saslaw has ever done). Why not just vote the right way in the first place? Dispiriting "leadership" like this is why Virginia Democrats turn out for Barack Obama but stay home for Creigh Deeds.

But it's also an example of how too often, Virginia Democratic leaders would rather fight over the crown of the Biggest Loser than stand together to achieve bigger victories. Is this about delivering wins to middle-class families to improve our roads and public transit and lower energy costs, or using losses to add a couple of names to your email list?

TheGreenMiles :: If McEachin Thinks Hybrid Tax is So Bad, Why'd He Vote for It?
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Big Disappointment (0.00 / 0)
I know many progressives in Virginia view McEachin as a hero, especially given the warm feelings generated by his primary victory that brought him to the State Senate. But I'm starting to question his leadership. I know he tends to have the right priorities on most issues, but I can't find much evidence that he's particularly effective in anything.

Also a corporate welfare supporter (4.00 / 1)
Donnie Mac was one of the State Senators who voted against Chap Petersen's sensible proposed constitutional amendment to provide sunset provisions to state tax breaks for corporations (SJ281).  Petersen's proposed amendment would have allowed the General Assembly to continue handing out selective tax breaks to their friends and family.  However, it would require that those tax breaks end after five years unless the General Assembly overtly votes for an extension.  Petersen says the lack of a sunset provision costs the state $2B per year in lost revenue.

$2B per year!

Here is the senate vote.

https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-b...

Interesting to see the so-called progressives like McEachin and Janet Howell run away from limits on corporate welfare.

$2B per year pays for the state's additional needs in transportation and provides another vast sum for education - all with no tax increase, no hybrid tax, etc.

Am I missing something or is the State Senate really that corrupt?


I strongly supported Chap's legislation, but obviously not (0.00 / 0)
everyone agreed. Among those who disagreed were these folks:

Tax-Credit Bill Defeated

Your voices were heard on several issues. Acting on information for our weekly alerts, preservationists around the Commonwealth called to let decision makers know that historic preservation plays an important role in their communities.  Our appreciation goes out to all who registered concern about SJ281 and the unintended consequences to historic rehabilitation and land conservation tax credits.  The resolution was defeated and Senators acknowledged on the floor that it was because of the value that these tax credits bring to their regions.  The session is not over and we will continue to send alerts on specific bills as necessary.  Thank you.



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[ Parent ]
JLARC Report (0.00 / 0)
Last year, JLARC did a very interesting study of tax preferences, including tax breaks  for corporations. The report ranks such expenditures according to their efficacy in achieving the goal they were instituted for.

Each year, the state loses an estimated $2.9 billion in revenue due to tax preferences. Most of that money does do what it was supposed to, including the slight progressive nature of the Virginia income tax system, exempting drugs and medical products from sales tax, etc.

Two  glaring tax expenditures that utterly failed to achieve the goal were tax rebates to coal companies to promote job creation and exempting all non-profits who apply from sales tax on the goods they purchase. Most non-profits don't bother to apply for the exemption, and the coal companies  have continued to reduce the jobs they have available.

Those two tax preferences add up to about $200 million per year, almost exactly what the General Assembly will be taking from the General Fund to put toward transportation. While land preservation and many other tax preferences are very worthwhile, why wouldn't those groups be able to prove their case every five years or so? I just don't see their opposition to Chap's bill...    


[ Parent ]
Problem with the proposal (0.00 / 0)
Senator Petersen's bill, while well-intentioned, would not have succeeded in ending the coal subsidy.  At the end of the day, the Virginia General Assembly still would be responsible for reauthorizing all preferences.  We only need to look at the last time the coal credit was up for renewal to see that it has broad bipartisan support.  

If you want to solve the problem give each credit benchmarks and definition in the authorizing language.  If the credit fails to achieve these benchmarks it can not be renewed.


[ Parent ]
Another tax we need (4.00 / 1)
We need to impose a tax on feet to make those pesky, freeloading pedestrians pay their fair share.

The Richmonder

What about cyclists? (4.00 / 1)
I'd say tax 'em until they bleed, and if they don't pay, tailgate them and door them!!! /snark

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[ Parent ]
In part because the LCV asked him to vote no? (0.00 / 0)
To:      Members of the Senate of Virginia
From:  Jeff Painter
Date:    01/31/2013
Re:      Position on Legislation

The Senate of Virginia is scheduled to consider SJR 281 (Second Reading - Contested Calendar) on Friday, February 1st. We encourage you to OPPOSE SJR 281.

We will continue to provide updates for your consideration during session.  A current bill chart may be found at www.valcv.org, by clicking "VALCV 2013 Legislative Positions." Thank you for your consideration.

S.J.R. 281 (Petersen) Constitutional amendment; tax credits.              OPPOSE

Provides that no tax credit shall remain in effect longer than five years unless it is reenacted by the General Assembly. Targets proven long-standing tax credit programs such as Agricultural Best Management Practices and Land Preservation to expire.

·      Two long-range programs, the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit and the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, may suffer greatly as a result of this legislation.

   Virginia, through the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit program, has been able to permanently protect more than 619,000 acres of farmland, open space, historic battlefields and forestland.

   The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program, during its first fifteen years, has generated a statewide economic impact of $3.62 billion. For every $1 million spent on rehabilitation, 15.6 jobs are created in the construction industry and 14.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

·      If the Generally Assembly finds that certain programs are not effective or is in need of reform, then it may vote to change or eliminate those specific programs, such as it is doing this session via HB 2047 relating to the long-term health care insurance tax credit program.

·      SJR 281 is opposed by the Piedmont Environmental Council, The Natural Conservancy, Preservation Virginia, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and the Civil War Trust

Thank you for your consideration. I hope we can count on your support.

Jeffrey L. Painter
Executive Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters



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I see this as part of the larger problem... (4.00 / 2)
...that too many Democratic politicians just don't understand how to win at the game of politics.  They don't lay down firm goals, don't mobilize their constituencies to push for these goals, don't play hardball, don't stay on offense and then give in to easily.  And herd the sheep to support whatever lousy result the leaders managed to mis-negotiate.  

And so, we are the party of half a loaf.  

It's pretty amazing, especially considering that this was the same term in which the Repubs pulled that amazing trick of trying to force a fully-fleshed-out unconstitutional redistricting plan down the Democrats' throat while one was away.  Even after that, they STILL didn't learn their lesson.

One thing that greatly impresses me is how well Obama learned his lessons from his first term, and has adjusted how he deals with the Cro-Magnon party.  We need to be the ones on permanent offense, put them on permanent defense and not let them lead us around by the noses.

For a Sustainable Virginia. Now on Twitter.


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