Bob Grebe’s One-on-One with gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 2:29 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - WHSV’s Bob Grebe spoke with Republican Glenn Youngkin about his plan for Virginia should he win the gubernatorial race. The full written version of the interview can be found below:

BOB GREBE:

Let’s talk about tax cuts.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yes.

BOB GREBE:

You’ve got grocery taxes, gas tax, income tax. What’s that going to do to our revenue?

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yeah. So first of all, what’s happened in Richmond for the last 12 months is that the liberal leadership’s over-taxed Virginians to the tune of 2.6 billion dollars in the middle of a pandemic. And they’re set to do it again this year. There’s plenty of revenue in Richmond. What we see, of course, is that it’s too expensive to live in Virginia. So we got to cut the tax burden so we can keep people here versus having everybody move away.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

So we’re going to eliminate the grocery tax on day one. We’re going to suspend the increase in the gas tax. We’re going to double the standard deduction for all Virginians. We’re going to declare the largest tax rebate in the history of Virginia, $600 for people filing jointly, 300 for those filing individually. And we’re going to go to work to exclude over three years $40,000 of retirement income for our veterans because we want to stay here. It’s going to be worth 1,400 to $1,500 for a family of four in year one. We got to get our cost of living down so that Virginians will stay here. It’s their money. It’s Virginian’s money, not Terry McAuliffe’s.

BOB GREBE:

The gas tax here, we have one locally because we’re trying to expand. We, meaning the Commonwealth. Is it trying to expand ID-1.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yes.

BOB GREBE:

If we eliminate that for the 12 months, what will that do for projects like that?

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yeah, so I’m not going to touch the local gas taxes. We’re just talking about the most recent statewide increase, which is a nickel. We’re going to do it for one year. Again, there is so much money in the system that, in fact, we can continue to invest in all of our roads. We can continue to press forward with these great projects and get them done. But for the next year in the middle of coming out of a pandemic, we’re going to give Virginians some relief from higher gas prices.

BOB GREBE:

I know you’re proposing that local property tax would be voted on-

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yes.

BOB GREBE:

... at the actual individual voter.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

We’d have a referendum every year. And when a jurisdiction wants to increase property taxes, they just have to tell their citizens why they want to raise them and what they’re going to do with the money. That’s it. We’re in a moment where across Virginia, it’s estimated that property values are going to go up double digits, as high as 18%. And we just want to make sure that as opposed to there being some secret meeting in the middle of the night and all of a sudden giant tax bills show up for all Virginians, that in fact, that public servants are responsible to Virginians. And so there’ll be referendums held each year in order to approve what folks are going to do with that money. If they do a good job of explaining what they’re going to do with the money, then we can increase taxes.

BOB GREBE:

All right. And speaking of taxes, there is a tax increase right now in Harrisonburg because they are building a second high school. And I know you want to make sure the schools are funded and rebuild and just build back the crumbling schools. So would your proposal be to have state money offset some of the local costs, because these folks here are feeling that burden.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yeah. So first of all, there’s been an enormous amount of money that’s come into Virginia from the federal government, and it’s not just come in to Richmond where 4.3 billion dollars came in, but it’s come into local jurisdictions all over Virginia. And on top of that, local jurisdictions are raising their own funds. So therefore, I look forward as governor, when we’re presiding over the largest education budget in the history of this Commonwealth, of partnering and yes, jointly funding with money from Richmond, but money from local jurisdictions in order to invest in our schools.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

We have crumbling schools all over Virginia, and we know we have to invest in them so that our students can get the quality of education they deserve. But we also have to increase standards and expectations. We’re going to increase teacher pay, and then we’re going to hold everybody accountable to deliver results for Virginia’s kids. Because right now Virginia’s kids are falling behind and we got to go fix that on day one.

BOB GREBE:

Augusta County, just south of us... I’m sure you’ve passed to it multiple... you actually were just there. You were just there as a matter of fact. They have an issue right now. Their deputies don’t have body cameras.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yes.

BOB GREBE:

Because they don’t have the funding for it at the county level.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yes.

BOB GREBE:

As far as supporting law enforcement all across the country, what’s your pledge to all law enforcement?

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yeah. So across the Commonwealth, what we’ve said is we’re going to comprehensively invest in law enforcement and we’re going to raise salaries. We’re going to go to work to bring down the cost of retirement benefits, particularly healthcare benefits for our heroes, but we’ve got to invest in equipment. And now again, there’s been lots of funds that have flown into local jurisdictions from Washington. And we got to partner together to make sure that money from Richmond, which I will absolutely allocate, is being used to make sure that we have the best equipment and the best training.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

This is how we combat defunding police. We’re going to fund police and invest in law enforcement. We got a 20 year high murder rate in Virginia, 20 year high. My opponent won’t even meet with law enforcement, and then when he does he yells at him. He yelled at the poor sheriff from Montgomery County about political beliefs, as opposed to how to get law enforcement working, to bring down crime. I’m going to go to work partnering with law enforcement. 50 of them have endorsed me because they trust me.

BOB GREBE:

I sense we’re running out of time. So you mentioned in your proposal, 400,000 new jobs all across Virginia. Virginia is incredibly diverse. Northern Virginia doesn’t look anything at all like far Southwest Virginia, but here in the Shenandoah Valley, what type of jobs do you see coming to this region?

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Yeah, I think we’ve got an opportunity in the Shenandoah Valley to really almost get the best of all of Virginia. So we’ve got an opportunity for technology jobs. We got an opportunity for pharmaceutical manufacturing. We got an opportunity for basic manufacturing. We got an opportunity to be a logistics hub, but we got to get I-81 fixed. We got to finish fixing I-81 so that we can in fact relieve some of the pressure that we see in I-81 traffic-wise. We actually have to finish the Coal Field Expressway in Southwest Virginia to take traffic off of I-81.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

There are so many great opportunities for Virginia in targeted sectors. And we’ve got to go to work to get them. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’m not a politician. I got a 30 year business record of building business and creating jobs. And I can’t wait to go work for all Virginians, but particularly here in the valley so that we can, in fact, get Virginia working again.

BOB GREBE:

Can I get 30 more seconds? Because we’ve got the pandemic. The fifth wave will likely come after the holidays. I think January 12th is the inauguration. That would mean we’re coming right off of people meeting with their families for Christmas and potentially getting that fifth wave. What’s your message there?

GLENN YOUNGKIN

Well, I believe that we’re going to be living with certain aspects of this virus for a long time. It’s not just going to disappear. And so one, I have been a strong advocate for all Virginians, please get the vaccine. I would not impose it and mandate it like my opponent. What my opponent has said is if you don’t get the vaccine, I’m going to make your life difficult. It’s been difficult enough for Virginians over the last 20 months, for us to have a gubernatorial candidate threatening Virginians to make their life difficult.

GLENN YOUNGKIN

So we’re going to continue to be an advocate to get the vaccine. We’re going to continue to help make the right information available, and we need to make the vaccine readily accessible. So many communities in Virginia have not found it easy to get the vaccine. We can do this. We can actually protect lives and we can also keep our industry and businesses open and protect livelihoods. We can do this, Virginians. We just got to come together and make it happen.

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