Kaine On Gas Taxes


When Tim Kaine was running for governor he said he would never try to raise the gas tax unless there was a constitutional amendment protecting the transportation trust fund.  The gas tax funded the transportation trust fund which was raided by the legislature in 2002 to cover a general fund budget shortfall.  Kaine took a common-sense stance when he said they couldn’t talk about raising taxes until the people were convinced the money would be spent “the right way.”

 However, like many politicians, once the election was over he twisted his campaign pledge.  With none of the safeguards he talked about in place, Kaine proposed raising the gas tax 1 percent in Hampton Roads.  This seemingly small tax increase would have little effect on the profits of major corporations, but it is a big deal for small businesses.  Luckily for Virginia’s small businesses, Kaine’s proposed tax (that he said he would never propose) didn’t make it through the state house. 



Kaine Said He Would Not Increase The Gas Tax Unless There Was A Constitutional Amendment. “And Kaine, who is Kilgore’s likely opponent in the governor’s race, vowed never to seek an increase in the gas tax unless Virginia approves a constitutional amendment to prevent the legislature from raiding the state’s transportation fund in tight budget times.” (Michael D. Shear and Chris Jenkins, “Va. Surplus Eyed For Transportation,” The Washington Post, 11/18/04)


“We Can’t Just Tax And Pave Our Way Out Of The Problem, Kaine Said.” (Steven Ginsberg, “Transportation Problems Are Short On Details,” The Washington Post, 10/5/05)


KAINE: “We Can’t Really Talk About New Revenue Until We Convince People That We’re Spending The Money We Have The Right Way.” (Christina Bellantoni, “Kaine Details Plans For Roads,” The Washington Times, 9/16/04)


Kaine Would Not Consider Anything Until The Assembly Safeguarded The Transportation Trust Fund. “Kaine said he would not consider increases in the gas tax or other transportation-related levies until the General Assembly takes steps to safeguard the state’s transportation trust fund, which supports road-building, mass transit and port and airport construction.” (Michael Sluss, “Kaine Outlines Plan To Avoid Crisis In Transportation  System,” The Roanoke Times, 6/24/05)


  • In 2002, The Transportation Trust Fund Had Been Raided To Cover A Budget Shortfall. “The General Assembly in 2002 diverted about $300 million in dedicated sales tax revenue from the trust fund to the general fund to help cover a budget shortfall.” (Michael Sluss, “Kaine Outlines Plan To Avoid Crisis In Transportation  System,” The Roanoke Times, 6/24/05)


KAINE: “I’m Not Going To Take Anything Off The Table. But Until We Lock Up The Transportation Fund, I’m Not Talking About New Revenue.” (Editorial, “The Rape Of The Lock” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/30/06)


KAINE: “I Always Said I Wasn’t Going To Raise Taxes In Respect To The General Fund. The Transportation Issue Is Different,” (Chris Jenkins, “Va. House Leaders Defend Plan,” The Washington Post, 2/22/06)


Kaine Plan Would Raise The Sales Tax In NoVa And Hampton Rds. “Kaine’s plan called for an array of state and regional taxes that included increasing the sales tax by one penny on the dollar in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia…” (Warren Fiske, “House Kills Gov. Kaine’s Transportation Funding Bill,” The Virginian-Pilot, 6/26/08)


  • Hampton Rds. Would Also Have A 1 Percent Gas Tax Increase. “In addition, residents of Hampton Roads would pay an additional penny-on-the-dollar sales tax and a 1 percent increase in the tax on retail gas.” (Warren Fiske, “House Kills Gov. Kaine’s Transportation Funding Bill,” The Virginian-Pilot, 6/26/08)


Richmond Times-Dispatch: NFIB Member Said A 1 Cent Increase In The Sales Tax Or The Gas Tax Will Have A Very Negative Impact On Small Businesses. “I hope my legislators understand that you can’t ignore small businesses and claim to speak for Virginia’s business community… A PENNY increase in the sales tax or gasoline tax isn’t going to matter much to the corporations that sit on the Chamber’s board of directors – companies such as ExxonMobil, Philip Morris, and Bank of America – but it’s going to mean a lot to the small businesses like mine. Roughly 82 percent of NFIB’s [National Federation of Independent Business] members in the commonwealth have fewer than 20 employees; 62 percent have fewer than 10. Most have sales of $500,000 or less a year. That’s a rounding error to some of the companies on the Chamber’s board.” (Editorial, “Listen To Small Businesses,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/20/08)