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Budget Situation in Virginia is Dire!

February 19th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

I just returned last night from a lobbying trip to Richmond for the Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS. After hearing the briefings from our state lobbyists and talking with several of our local legislators, it is obvious that Virginia and all the localities are is for a very tough time. The words that were used by the legislators were: “tsunami”, “catastrophe”, “massacre”, etc. Gov. McDonnel issued his proposed cuts to the budget on Wednesday and it was as devastating as expected. There were numbers being thrown around of 25-50,000 teachers being laid off, medicaid cuts (which doesn’t make a lot of sense, since there are matching dollar form the federal government for these funds), furloughing state employees 5 days per year, more cuts to the higher education centers that help the more rural areas without multiple universites (like Richmond), and so on and so on and so on!
There are no proposals for increasing state funding (read that as taxes) since the Govenor and many of the legilators used the “No Tax” pledge in their campaigns. It seems that we can fund re-opening of rest stops(another campaign pledge), but not school breakfasts. If you would like to see a list of all the proposed cuts, you can read them here from an article in the Washington Post.
With the “no tax” pledges that have been used in many campaigns, there is no real and lasting solution to the budget crisis. And, yes, it is a crisis.
The consensus from the Democrats in Richmond that we talked with was that tax increases are the only way to get out of this mess. The Republicans continue to propose cuts in spending and hoping that the economy will improve. I don’t know which group is right, but it would be nice if our legislators would worry more about the citizens of Virginia than just their re-election campaigns and try a little bi-partisanship to look at solutions to this problem. Oh well, maybe the state should just buy more of its own lottery tickets!

It’s Tax Time…Don’t forget the new tax law changes!

February 3rd, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

Here’s a great article written by Eileen Ambrose from RISMEDIA  today about the changes to the tax laws.
“Fortunately, many of the new tax breaks are credits, which are better than a deduction because they reduce your bottom-line tax bill dollar-for-dollar. So before you fill out your return, here’s a refresher on some of the key tax breaks this season: more

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