Deeds Says He Supports Raising Taxes

Candidate outlines plan in Post

By Jim Iovino
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 10:20 PM EDT
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Deeds Would Tax for Transportation Funds if Necessary

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Creigh Deeds says he would raise taxes in Virginia.

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Deeds Would Tax for Transportation Funds if Necessary

Creigh Deeds took a lot of heat last week for confusing statements he made on whether he would support a tax hike to fund his transportation plan. Today he made it clear, he would raise taxes if necessary.
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There, he did it.

Creigh Deeds, the man who has been criticized for saying he won't raise taxes, only to say a few seconds later he will, finally has come clean.

He will raise taxes.

The Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate made the statement in a column penned Wednesday for the Washington Post. In it, Deeds laid out his plans for fixing the state transportation system. And then he said how he'd pay for it.

"Let me be clear regarding taxes," Deeds wrote. "I will sign a bill that is the product of bipartisan compromise that provides a comprehensive transportation solution. As a legislator, I have voted for a number of mechanisms to fund transportation, including a gas tax. And I'll sign a bipartisan bill with a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation -- even if it includes new taxes."

Boom goes the roadside dynamite.

Deeds said he not afraid to admit that taxes might be raised. He said it's a better way to address transportation funding than his opponent, Bob McDonnell, who he says wants to use money from the commonwealth's general fund.

"We can't solve this problem without new revenue," Deeds wrote. "My opponent is playing political shell games, being dishonest about his revenue projections. And his idea to take funds from education, health care and public safety to pay for transportation is dead on arrival."

On McDonnell's Web site, however, the Republican states he will fund transportation projects with bonds, a dedicated percentage of new revenue growth (if there is any) surplus revenue (if there is any), the privatization of Alcohol Beverage Control, a percentage of revenue from offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, "future growth in state taxes attributable to economic activity generated around the Port of Virginia, tolling people who enter Virginia at the North Carolina border on I-95 and I-85 and more.

While McDonnell's transportation funding plan is clearly marked on his own Web site, the same can't be said for Deeds, who doesn't list transportation, or how to fund it, among his top issues on his own site. It's an odd omission, considering how big of a deal transportation has become in his campaign.

So it looks like Virginians will have to use the Post column to understand Deeds' views on the subject -- including his view on taxing them.

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