GOP LG hopeful (and no one can say that he is not hopeful) state Sen. Steve “Not the Wild and Crazy Guy One” Martin took to the airwaves this morning to defend himself (and by extension the other members of the General Assembly running for LG who were also included on the mailer in question) against attacks that he was responsible for tax hikes in Virginia because he was a member of the legislature when they were approved. Never mind the fact that Martin and the others voted against them.
On the John Fredricks show being interviewed about the attack piece sent to [RPV convention] delegates, trying to blame me for spending increases I voted against, while hailing an opponent from Prince William as the hero – a budget cutter. One would have to be a stranger to the process to believe either thing. The record shows my “no” votes on the spending bills, and the Prince William record shows tax increases, which he supported. His claim of net tax cuts is based on a decline in property values.
This gets to an important issue. Let’s say that your home value goes down from one year to the next and your county board changes the tax rate so you pay the same amount in taxes in both years. Percentage-wise, wouldn’t that mean your taxes went up? After all, you are paying the same amount in taxes on something that is not worth what it was before.
Think of it this way. You buy something for $10 and pay 5% sales tax on it, which comes to 50 cents. Now let’s say that same something is on sale for $5 and you buy another one and with 5% sales tax you pay 25 cents in taxes. If you were to pay 50 cents in taxes on both, the sales tax on the second item would jump from 5% to 10%. Then they say that because you paid $10.50 for the first item (5% sales tax) and $5.50 for the second item that was on sale (10% sales tax) that you got a tax cut when in fact your taxes went up and in reality you only paid less because the value of the item itself went down.
Is it any wonder local governments prefer the method of charging a set dollar amount per $100 in value rather than a set percentage?