This legislative session Virginia lawmakers have supported measures that would give tax breaks to people who buy luxury yachts as well as gold, silver, and platinum bullion. Tax breaks and exemptions like these cost the Commonwealth billions every year. Yet at the same time, programs that support Virginians in or near poverty are slated for cuts twice as deep as the rest of the budget. This represents a dramatic change of course for Virginia where the state has traditionally managed to protect low income Virginians from deep budget cuts. Yet tax breaks for luxury purchases find strong support among lawmakers.
"We are turning our backs on our most vulnerable citizens at exactly the time we should be giving them a hand up in this difficult economy," said Marco Grimaldo, CEO & President of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. "Special interest tax breaks do little to provide education for our children or needed care for our seniors – surely we can do better."
As lawmakers propose to balance the budget by slashing programs that support low income Virginians they plan to spend lavishly on those who are the most well off. Better Choices for Virginia calls on our lawmakers to re-focus our priorities on those who have the most need, not those who have the most influence.
Virginia Organizing is part of Better Choices- a broad alliance of business leaders, community organizations, retirees, parents, educators, health care providers, people of faith, and nonprofit organizations who want to make sure our state is a great place to live, raise a family, and run a business. We've come together for the common good. We want to make sure Virginia invests what it takes to create jobs and preserve a prosperous future: schools, health care, public safety and other building blocks of a strong economy.
"10 Ways in 10 Days" is an educational campaign to highlight the impact of the budget choices we've made in Virginia, and how we can better address the current challenges we face to ensure future prosperity.