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Longtime Republican Leader Blasts Virginia Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Cuccinelli's Tax Cut Plan

5:10 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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ALEXANDRIA, Va.  (WUSA) -- Virginia is known as a low-tax state, but the Republican candidate for Governor wants to cut taxes even more. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says his plan to reduce corporate and individual income taxes will help create jobs. 

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says if he's elected Governor, he'll "unleash the spirit ingenuity of Virginia's entrepreneurs and empower middle class families by allowing them to keep more of their paychecks," according to his website.

"We carve out the dollars for these common sense tax cuts for both businesses and individuals by restraining growth and government," said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli's plan would cut $1.4 billion in taxes every year by reducing the individual income tax rate from 5.75% to 5 % over four years and the corporate income tax from 6% to 4% over four years.

"Part of how we'd pay for this is to cut off loopholes and exemptions that special interest have managed to slowing, but surely through time carve out in the tax code," said Cuccinelli.
But Vince Callahan, a republican who spent 40 years in the state legislator and 36 years on the appropriations committee, says the money from cutting any loopholes is minuscule compared to the tax cuts Cuccinelli wants. Callahan says those cuts could hurt education, public safety and higher education.

"Why do you want to mess with them? We have good economic development, we have low unemployment. And why do you want to mess with this by having draconian cuts to the state budget?" said Callahan. 

In addition to cutting loopholes, Cuccinelli wants to ensure state government growth does not exceed inflation plus population.

But Callahan says the state budget should not be tied to population.

"It doesn't work that way in government. It doesn't work that way. We have expense of which we have no control over. Medicaid is a classic example," said Callahan.

Callahan was elected to the House of Delegates in 1965 and has worked with 11 governors since then.

He said, "I got to know all these governors pretty well and I got a pretty good handle on what it takes to be a chief executive of a state. It frightens me to put the Commonwealth of Virginia into the hands of someone who has no vision for Virginia."

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