COMSTOCK FOR DELEGATE BLOG
RELEASE: House Budget Restores School Funding, Eliminates Tax Increases
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
House Budget Eliminated $260 Million In Additional Taxes On Fairfax County Taxpayers Proposed In Kaine Budget –
While Lifting the LCI Education Funding Freeze and Providing More Funds For Fairfax County Schools
– $260 Million Proposed Tax on Fairfax County From Kaine Budget Was Eliminated
– Budget Invests $50 Million In Job Creation
– Budget Lifts LCI Freeze Which Would Have Cost Fairfax Schools $60 Million
– House Budget Now Provides 15.4% More Than Kaine Proposed Budget
Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-34th District) released the following
statement today about the recent vote in the House of Delegates on the
"Under a budget plan approved by the House of Delegates last
week, Fairfax County will avoid the crushing additional tax burden of
$260 Million in additional taxes that Governor Kaine had proposed in
his final budget. Instead, the House of Delegates focused on job
creation (with $50 million in targeted jobs creating efforts) and
funding core services, including a 15.4% increase for Fairfax County
schools over the Kaine proposed budget for a total of approximately
$500 Million to our schools.
"The House budget reversed the LCI Freeze which would have lost Fairfax
County Schools $60 million. Fairfax County also will be able to reduce
expenditures made in contributions to the Virginia Retirement System
(VRS), which frees up an additional $66m in funding for local schools.
Fairfax County schools will experience a net increase in available
funds of 15.4% compared to the budget proposed by then-Governor Timothy
"In addition, the overall House budget does not include the 17%
statewide income tax hike proposed in the Kaine budget which served as
the linchpin of his budget. Kaine's proposed 1% increase in the state
income tax would have cost Fairfax County taxpayers approximately $471
million and only been offset by $211 million in car tax relief.
Therefore, this would have been a $260 million additional tax on
Fairfax County in the midst of a recession. On January 21, the House of
Delegates rejected Kaine's proposal for increasing the state income
tax. The vote was a unanimous 97 to 0 rejection.
"Virginia's government is experiencing the most serious and sustained
state revenue reductions in generations. The reduced fiscal outlook and
taxpayer anxieties, brought on by the ongoing recession, have resulted
in the Commonwealth having to enact spending cuts so state government
lives within its means. States such as Maryland, New York, Michigan and
many others, which have continued to raise taxes in a recession, have
found themselves in far worse situations with higher unemployment
rates, more cutbacks for schools and fewer prospects for job creation.
Prior to last year, state funding for public education was held
harmless, while funding for other state agencies and services were
reduced during earlier rounds of budget cuts. However, while there are
cuts state-wide to education, Fairfax County was a net gainer in
education funds of 15.4% above the Kaine budget.
"To reduce the effects on public education of scarce tax dollars, the
House budget gives local school divisions significantly greater
flexibility in allocating the funds provided to them by the state.
Under the House plan, portions of direct state aid will be distributed
as a block grant and state mandates relaxed, easing the restrictions
inherent in the existing Standards of Quality (SOQ). Recognizing that
responding to challenging economic times is not aided by a
'one-size-fits-all' approach, the House gives local schools the ability
to make the most of available funds, allowing them to determine where
best to dedicate available resources.
"We have to reverse the downward spiral that our economy is
in. When you look at the increased taxes and burdens coming from
Washington, we wanted to do everything we could in the Virginia budget
to restore and expand prosperity, not punish it. Unlike Washington
where they can print money and spend with abandon, we are obligated to
live within our means and prioritize spending on core government