Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Scenario 2 - Senate Stops Tax Increase

The only other scenario for this years budget battle is a agreement between the House and Senate to not raise taxes, forcing the governor to sign or shutdown the government. The GOP has 23 members in its caucus and with LG Bolling at the podium, only 20 votes are needed to pass a budget without a tax increase. There is a slight chance that downstate dems like Puckett, Reynolds or Deeds might vote against this tax increase for the same reasons as rural GOPs. Even that is highly unlikely.

Under this scenario, all but 3 in the Republican Senate Caucus must vote for not raising taxes. Most would say Chinchester and Potts are almost guaranteed to support an increase, so only 1 more GOP can break ranks. My guess for that person would be Marty Williams from Newport News. He released a rundown of the money each area of the state would get under the Senate and House plans to try to prove why rural areas should support the Senate's plan too. Also, he can afford to vote this way more so than other "moderate" GOPs in the Senate. Guys such as Stolle, Norment and Stosch are likely to draw primary challengers next time around if they vote for this increase. Williams is less likely to be a target of a primary challenge; especially if the Senate does not end up raising taxes. Also, Norment or Stosch as members of leadership probably would not be voting against the caucus. It is very unusual to see 2 of the 3 in leadership voting by themselves.

I am not sure how likely this scenario is either, but I have heard that even some Senate dems are concerned about the gas tax rebate proposal in the Senate budget plan. Either way, its going to be a wild ride.

13 Comments:

  • At 3/13/2006 1:01 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said…

    "There is a slight chance that downstate dems like Puckett, Reynolds or Deeds might vote against this tax increase for the same reasons as rural GOPs"

    As I pointed out in the other thread, the House GOP transportation plan sends absolutely nothing to the rural areas. It sends all aid to the problem areas (tidewater and NOVA). So there is little or no chance of rural Dems jumping ship to the House plan.

    If anything, you should be approaching it like this: Which rural legislators can the Dems/Senate/Kaine convince to jump to their plan?

     
  • At 3/13/2006 2:08 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    The House plan also doesn't raise taxes on its constituents. The Senate plan does.
    Sen Williams would have an interesting set of numbers if he would have released how much each area would be paying in new taxes under his plan versus the House.
    Plus, transportation problems dont seem to be bad enough in rural areas to warrant the "make me pay more in taxes for roads" arguement some are making in NOVA.

     
  • At 3/13/2006 2:15 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I would also point out the House plan doesnt send any NEW MONEY to downstate regions. It does send money to those areas though. Only the new revenue from abuser fees, etc go to NOVA and Tidewater.

     
  • At 3/13/2006 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Senate stops the tax increase?

    What?

    Good luck finding more than 10 Senators willing to vote against the Senate tax increase plan.

     
  • At 3/13/2006 10:00 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Exactly, thats why its a scenario.
    I am not putting too much stock in this scenario either.
    I actually have a 3rd scenario I will do sometime tomorrow.

     
  • At 3/14/2006 6:47 PM, Blogger spankthatdonkey said…

    Well, how much of a stretch is it to think that maybe some Senators will "compromise" to the House plan, in exchange for any further "surplus $$$" showing up in next years projections being earmarked for Transportation....

    The budget is a "blue print", it can always be amended next year, the real fight is just to get the taxes implemented correct?

     
  • At 3/14/2006 7:00 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Exactly
    Problem is, all the surplus will be poured into transportation anyway.
    Remember the 04-05 surplus?

     
  • At 3/15/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger spankthatdonkey said…

    I wish the GOP Senate would remember they have one too!!

     
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