Governor hopeful Ed Gillespie promises ‘tax cuts for all Virginians’
Gillespie appeared in an informal Loudoun County setting this afternoon, speaking at the Sterling home of supporters Mary Gail and Gordon Swenson.
A former lobbyist and Republican National Committee chairman, Gillespie proposes cutting individual income tax rates by 10 percent in the state. If enacted, the tax cut would be the first since 1972. Gillespie said the move would put nearly $1,300 a year back into the pockets of a family of four.
The cut would be phased in over three years and supported by the growth of Virginia's general fund, expected to grow by $3.4 billion over the next five years, according to Gillespie.
Under the plan, $1.3 billion or approximately 40 percent of projected growth would be provided for tax relief. More than $2 billion would still be available for education, health care and other core services.
“I know this will benefit those Virginians who are squeezed between stagnant wages and higher costs for housing, health care, college and food, for those retirees who would like to stay in Virginia but are being drawn to lower tax states. We want them to stay in Virginia,” Gillespie said.
He cited the oft-used statistic that in 2014 Virginia fell to the bottom 10 states in terms of economic growth. He also told those gathered that for three straight years more people have moved out of Virginia than into it.
Gillespie believes his plan will also put Virginia on a path toward meaningful local business tax reform, enabling business formation and job creation.
“...to open a new business and expand an existing one in Virginia, we need to make that a lot easier ... most small business owners, they pay their taxes in the individual code not the corporate tax rate,” Gillespie said. “I think this plan will strengthen our economy and create jobs.”
The former RNC chair noted that any governor would have to watch the federal budget very closely.
President Trump announced his proposed 2018 budget on Thursday. If enacted, his spending plan could see a sizable cutback in the federal non-military workforce and have a major impact on the large numbers of federal workers living in Virginia.
“Some of these cuts cannot be helpful in northern Virginia. One of the things about my plan is that it diversifies our economy and makes us less impacted by federal spending...,” Gillespie added.
“My plan will allow for entrepreneurs, innovators to flourish in Virginia, for small businesses to open and grow and that will take us to an economy that is less impacted by changes at the federal level,” he said.
Booklets outlining Gillespie's tax plans in greater detail were placed on the Swanson's kitchen table for those gathered to take away..
In the room for Gillespie's event were Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run), Chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee Will Estrada and local business owners.
Though he has never held public office, Gillespie has a lengthy career in politics and Washington. In addition to serving as RNC chair, he was a counselor to President George W. Bush. Gillespie's 2014 Senate bid saw him nearly unseat incumbent Democrat Mark Warner.
Gillespie is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor in June. He joins Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors; State Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach); and Denver Riggleman, co-owner of Silverback Distillery in Nelson County.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Congressman Tom Perriello are competing for the Democratic nomination.
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