Taxes and Spending

“It’s time to conduct a thorough audit of how your tax dollars are spent. The Virginia budget has doubled over the last 10 years, growing 30% faster than the rate of growth in population and inflation. We need select independent audits of major state agencies, and a greater level of budget transparency throughout state government. The state budget is nearly 80 billion dollars and you need to know exactly what you are getting for that.  I will work to make life simpler for Virginians by making government more efficient and user-friendly.”


Bob McDonnell: Friend of the Taxpayer

A Consistent Leader Fighting for Lower Taxes, Less Spending, and Free Enterprise

  • Bob McDonnell voted more than 50 times to cut taxes during his 14 years in the House of Delegates, resulting in over $2 billion in tax cuts.
  • Bob McDonnell was Chief Sponsor of legislation to kill the Death Tax on family businesses and farms.
  • Bob McDonnell led the charge for major reforms such as welfare-to-work.
  • Bob McDonnell received a 100% rating from the National Federation of Independent Business for his record helping small businesses.
  • As Attorney General, Bob McDonnell fought to eliminate fraud in the Medicare system, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and efficiently.
  • As Attorney General, Bob McDonnell proactively cut his office’s budget by nearly 15%. In 2008 he gave back his state car and cut his own salary — voluntarily!. These cuts saved Virginia taxpayers close to $4 million.
  • As Attorney General, Bob McDonnell called for the permanent elimination of Virginia’s 400th Anniversary Vehicle Registration Fee after the commemoration concluded.
  • As Attorney General, Bob McDonnell established the Government and Regulatory Reform Task Force to eliminate burdensome and duplicative government regulations and ensure that hinder free enterprise and job creation.
  • In 2007, Directorship ranked Virginia #2 in the nation for its pro-business climate — due in part to Bob McDonnell’s leadership on protecting companies from frivolous lawsuits that kill jobs.

In these tough economic times, we must look for every opportunity to consolidate and streamline state functions, and to implement innovation and budget prioritization in Richmond. Just as families and businesses make tough decisions and prioritize their budgets, so too should Richmond.The manner by which we close this shortfall, and create the budget in the years ahead, will determine how Virginia emerges from this recession. Some would argue for tax increases to fill the revenue gap. That is the wrong approach to take, both for our citizens and for our government. We must close this shortfall, and craft future budgets, without burdening our citizens with additional taxes that they cannot afford. And we must put strong job creation and economic development policies in place to begin to grow again.

One of the main contributing factors to Virginia’s budget challenges is the roller coaster like spending by Richmond. When times are good, spending increases much faster than inflation and population growth. Our budget inflates, and then when times are tough, we have to make massive cuts across the board. We need a more even keeled approach to government spending. Fiscal responsibility is about making tough decisions not just in bad times, but in good times too. As he did as Attorney General, Bob McDonnell will be the type of Governor to make tough decisions that put the Commonwealth on a long path for economic vitality.

Our focus must be on supporting policies that will facilitate growth in the private sector, encourage entrepreneurship, and allow Virginians to achieve their dreams, and in so doing, expand our economy. Economic development, education, public safety and transportation will be the top priorities in the McDonnell administration. Priority in the state budget will be given to these core functions of government or those designed to increase revenue through job creation.

  • Committing Richmond to accurate revenue forecasting done in a realistic, accurate and conservative manner
  • Reforming the Rainy Day Fund, including increasing the permissible size from 10% to 15% of the Commonwealth’s average annual tax revenues
  • Enacting budget cycle reform recommended by the Wilder Commission
  • Implementing evidence based budgeting
  • Improving government transparency and setting new standards for accountability
  • Instituting performance audits of major agencies
  • Standing up for Virginia against unfunded federal mandates
  • Establishing a Government Performance Commission to review Idle Assets
  • Implementing performance spending

To read the full plan visit here


McDonnell also rejected taxes, saying lawmakers should cut spending. “The worst thing you can do during a recession is try to tax yourself to prosperity,” he said
The Virginian-Pilot (December 2, 2008) McDonnell, who is unopposed for the Republican nomination, pointed out that unemployment is up and consumer confidence is at its lowest point in 30 years — not the time, he said, to place an additional financial burden on Virginia families. Rather than raising new revenue, McDonnell said, his administration would slash state government expenditures.
“We have a spending problem more than we have a taxation problem,” McDonnell said.
The Daily Progress (December 3, 2008)

McDonnell, in turn, said Deeds would be a poor steward to guide the state through a recession. “My philosophy is to keep taxes, regulation and litigation low,” he said. “He set a record of doing something different.”
The Washington Post (June 11, 2009) “The worst thing you can do is to tax your way to prosperity,” McDonnell said. “That’s failed in the United States and abroad.”
The Washington Post (December 3, 2008) “I’m conservative. But conservative means that you believe in limited government and low taxes and keeping regulations to a minimum”
The Washington Post (March 3, 2009) The former Virginia attorney general also said he would fight the rebirth of the “death tax” – an inheritance tax that was eliminated a few years ago.
“The federal government wants to reinstate that, and we should do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t,” McDonnell said. (March 8, 2009) “The focus of this campaign is clearly going to be the economic issues–jobs and the economy–will far and away be the top issue in the campaign,” he said. “And there will be a big gulf between my opponents and me about the things I want to do to stimulate the free enterprise system that creates jobs, and they’ll be talking about strengthening the rights of unions and raising taxes.”
CNS News (February 17, 2009)