The following letter was printed in the Daily Progress on December 23, 2010
By Kate Rosenfield | Albemarle County
On Dec. 17, Gov. Bob McDonnell recommended increased funding for education, job creation and community health services. This would be good news if it didn’t mean even more drastic cuts in other needed services.
It is time for the General Assembly to begin tax reform. Virginia’s wealthiest citizens have a lower tax responsibility than middle- and low-income earners. As a percent of their income, those who make $500,000 or more a year pay 5.4 percent of that income on state and local taxes. Citizens with the lowest incomes pay 8.8 percent of their earnings.
Reasonable tax increases should be made instead of cutting an already damaged budget. And for fairness and balance, taxes should be raised on the Virginians at that top of the scale who are most able to pay and now have the least tax responsibility.
A modest progressive income tax reform will increase revenue and address future budget shortfalls.
Kate Rosenfield is a member of the Virginia Organizing Budget and Revenue Committee