The newspapers continue to tell us of the shortfalls in the Virginia State budget and of the drastic cuts our Governor has been forced to make due to our failing economy.
The media keeps reporting on more and more programs that are on the chopping block. Many of these programs are essential to the health and welfare of Virginia’s most vulnerable populations.
In addition, churches and food pantries are running out of food, while job losses, evictions and foreclosures are increasing for Virginia’s families.
Cutting needed programs or denying assistance is a heavy price to pay for a balanced budget especially when there is another way. Several legislators put in bills to restore the Virginia Estate Tax. This legislation would have exempted estate taxes up to $5 million, as well as small businesses and farms.
Restoring the estate tax would have generated nearly $100 million, which could have been doubled with federal matching funds.
Restoring the estate tax would not have met all needs or save all programs, but could have made a big difference. Unfortunately, Virginia legislators were not willing to take steps in the right direction to restore the estate tax.
– Letter from Sue M. Capers, Alexandria, and John Horejsi, coordinator, Social Action Working Together, Vienna