ICYMI: Virginia’s many budget challenges

What Cab Go Wrong?My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday. The recent release of a report on Virginia’s fiscal health, one of six states reviewed by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, starkly lays out the challenges that the state faces going forward.

Perhaps the most important piece of the review came in the summary report’s conclusion that the budget problems are not cyclical – based on the upturns and downturns of the economy – but structural, that is, built into the systems themselves.

At least one bill has been introduced this cycle to address a part of this: Chap Petersen’s SJ281 would provide “that no tax credit shall remain in effect longer than five years unless it is reenacted by the General Assembly.” Some $2 billion goes uncollected in Virginia due to “credits, deductions, exemptions, etc.” and rarely are these tax expenditures reviewed. Given our tremendous reliance on federal government spending, we have to come up with some mechanism to provide the resources necessary to operate our government.

Everyone should read the Virginia report (pdf) and, at least, the summary report (pdf). Fixing what’s ailing Virginia is going to be a long, hard road.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.


2 thoughts on “ICYMI: Virginia’s many budget challenges

  1. Good post (and editorial), Vivian! And as you can see, I figured out how to fix my display name on WordPress! (For those who do not know, narceleb=warren.)

    I do like the idea of having credits, deductions, etc. expire every five years or so, but I would do that for the taxes, too! Perhaps every fourth year, a second-year governor could sign the tax bill that will be in effect for the next four years. I do not think our laws should exist in perpetuity, but should be reviewed and renewed every few years,

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