Concerns Raised About Candidates for Governor Tax Platform

Rockingham County Nothing gets past Rockingham County Administrator Joe Paxton's desk, including tax plans proposed by candidates for governor Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli.

"Our real concern was: Would they be able to live up to replacing that revenue, and where was that revenue coming from?" said Paxton.

Both candidates propose reducing or eliminating the Business Professional Occupational License, or BPOL, tax; the Machinery and Tools tax; and the Merchants' Capital tax, which bring in $1 billion in revenue for the commonwealth. Rockingham County pulls in a combined $11 million from the Machinery and Tools tax and Merchants' Capital tax. Losing any of the money is a concern, said Paxton, adding that he is unsure how it will be made up.

"If businesses are not going to pay the tax, somebody would, and that would fall primarily those of us that [have] homes that we own or even renters. The board is sensitive to that, and we only look at that as a last resort," said Paxton.

The policy director for the Cuccinelli campaign said the tax department can make up the revenue by taking money from tax exemptions, such as golf course membership fees, and would not leave the burden on the backs of people in Virginia.

"We have talked with localities, and one thing you can trust about Ken Cuccinelli is that he is a man of his word, and when he says he is not going to do it unless the localities are kept whole, he means it," said Sandy Liddy Bourne. "That is the deal. What you see is what you get with Ken Cuccinelli."

Requests for an interview with Terry McAuliffe's campaign were not returned before this story aired at 6 p.m.

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