Here is the short version of Ken Cuccinelli’s economic plan, unveiled today:
- Reduce the individual income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5 percent over four years;
- Establish a Small Business Tax Relief Commission (to be launched in December 2013) with the following strategic goals:
- Eliminate or reduce the harmful effects of the Business Professional Occupational License (BPOL) Tax, the Machine and Tool (M&T) Tax, and the Merchants Capital (MC) Tax, while maintaining local government revenue;
- Reduce the Personal Income Tax and the Corporate Income Tax;
- Identify and eliminate outdated exemptions and loopholes that promote crony capitalism;
- Ensure state government growth does not exceed inflation plus population growth;
- Reduce the corporate income tax from 6 percent to 4 percent
Cuccinelli unveiled his Economic Growth & Virginia Jobs Plan at SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt, a Richmond based frozen-yogurt shop established in 2009 and now franchised throughout the United States. SweetFrog makes community outreach and involvement a top priority. The plan can be found online here.
Virginia had been enjoying monthly tax revenue that exceeded its budgetary requirements for a while — but they’ve hit a rough patch recently:
For 22 months, from August 2010 until last May, every month but one brought revenues exceeding those collected in the same month the year before. Seven of them showed double-digit growth . . . Virginia’s revenue numbers are sputtering again in a recovery that’s never really caught fire. Six of the past 12 months have been downers; the worst was March’s 6.1 percent general revenue drop.
Defense cuts and federal worker furloughs could end up hitting the state’s income and sales tax revenue hard.
On the other hand, Virginia voters are in a pretty good mood at the moment. The state’s unemployment rate is only 5.3 percent, the tenth-lowest in the country. Incumbent GOP governor Bob McDonnell, who cannot run again, has an approval rating of 64 percent in the most recent Washington Post poll, and 52 percent think the state is headed in the right direction, while only 36 percent believe it’s on the “wrong track.” What’s more, 5 percent say the state’s economy is “excellent” while 56 percent say it’s “good.”