Right Wing Liberal has a new post up in response to a Roanoke Red Zone post several days ago about my tax record.
There was much talk about the 2004 tax increase in my primary (and ironically not much before that). The blogs and newspapers were full of stories. Unfortunately, most got it wrong. I NEVER supported the tax increase. It wasn't until my primary opponent made a variety of baseless allegations about my tax record that I got lumped into the "tax raising" crowd. Remember in 2004, the Most Wanted Poster for those House and Senate members raising taxes? Guess what? I wasn't on it.
Here is my record on the 2004 tax increase:
SB 635 - $3.8 billion tax increased proposed in the Senate. I voted No. Bill passed the Senate 27 to 12 on 2/20/04.
SB 30 – 2004-2006 Budget proposed in the Senate. Contained the tax increase. I voted No. Bill passed the Senate 30 to 9 on 2/26/04.
HB 5018 – Compromise tax package passed by both the House and Senate. I opposed, but was in Detroit on a business trip planned months ahead and could not vote. It was a Special Session and after having made many trips to Richmond and doing nothing, I didn't know the vote would be that day as opposed to being postponed again. After having opposed the tax increase throughout the 2004 Session, why on earth would I have supported it this time? The compromise was going to pass the Senate regardless of how I voted. I had no reason to vote for it and every reason to vote against it, which is what I would have done.
As for 2006, every Republican voted for the Senate budget that included the transportation taxes. This includes Cuccinelli, Obenshain etc. If they were truly opposed to the tax increase, they should have voted against the budget, as I did in 2004.
I have always been consistent in my belief that we did not need general fund revenue increases (2004), but we did need a transportation revenue increase (2006). Was the 2006 transportation plan perfect. Not by a long shot! It's not the plan I would have written had I been in the leadership. But, I had to vote Yes or No. I voted for a solution, as difficult and imperfect as it was.