Terry McAuliffe offered a plan to reduce and reform a handful of local taxes Friday, seeking to position himself as the Virginia gubernatorial candidate best-equipped to stimulate job growth in the commonwealth.
McAuliffe’s (D) opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), a longtime proponent of smaller government and lower taxes, is expected to unveil a broader plan to reshape Virginia’s tax system next week.
McAuliffe’s proposal calls for ending or cutting the Business, Professional Occupation Licensing tax, the Machinery and Tool tax and the Merchants Capital tax. All three local levies, McAuliffe suggested, discourage investment and growth by small businesses.
McAuliffe also said he would convene a task force of government and business leaders to develop specific plans for reforming those three taxes. The proposals would need to be revenue-neutral, McAuliffe said, because many localities rely on them to balance the books.
“The top priority for the next Governor should be to help strengthen and diversify Virginia’s economy in the face of a changing economic landscape,” McAuliffe said in a release. “As we do that, we can’t afford to have a system of complicated, anti-growth taxes for small businesses. We need to update our local tax systems to make it easier for businesses to start and grow, and make sure that Virginia’s economy remains competitive.”