From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday unveiled a two-year, $84.9 billion spending plan that balances increases in transportation, higher education and the state’s pension system with $882 million in targeted reductions largely to Medicaid and public education funding. The proposed budget for July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2014, contains no tax increases but raises certain fees, including $10 million worth from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If fees are increased at the DMV, doesn’t that really constitute a tax increase, by another name?
Additionally, if items like Medicaid and public education get shortchanged, doesn’t that simply make local governments more strapped for much needed cash? The real estate market has not rebounded all that much which is where the taxes come from in most localities. There is also a movement under way to do away with the BPOL tax.
Somehow politicians need to accept that we are not all that stupid. We know that neither PWC nor Virginia can print money. We know that a certain amount of money is needed for schools and for medicaid. If the buck stops here, we either do without cops and other public safety services or we have 40 kids in a classroom.
How do you cut back on Medicaid? Where do you start? Do you disqualify people? I don’t know the answers. It just seems that we are playing a shell game. The fed cuts what it gives to the states. The state cuts what it gives to the localities. The localities have things they must do like provide medicaid, education money and public safety. So we move it around.
This is like the song, Where have all the Flowers Gone. Gone to Flowers everyone. McDonnell is on Fox News bragging that he has a surplus. Not really. How about that money owed to VRS that has not yet been repaid? How about what is being shorted the localities? How about the increased fees? Just because we don’t call it a tax, is it still a tax? Yup.
I don’t really care. I noticed a huge hit since the last time I renewed my license. I expected it. But lets call it what it is. It’s a tax increase called a fee.