Friday, November 18, 2005

How to Use a Surplus

From The Washington Post:

RICHMOND, Nov. 17 -- The leading Republican in Virginia's state Senate warned his colleagues Thursday that the commonwealth must not go on a spending spree with the budget surplus from a strong economy.

John H. Chichester (Northumberland), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said at a two-day committee retreat that surplus money, about $1 billion, should be spent on "one-time, non-recurring, non-habit-forming expenditures."

"Listen to that voice in your head that says go slow," he told senators in his southern, patrician-like drawl. "Take it easy. Don't overextend."

The fiscal danger, Chichester said, is that the Republican-controlled legislature and Gov.-elect Timothy M. Kaine (D) will get "hooked on the revenue" during the General Assembly session that begins Jan. 11...

Efforts to raise taxes for transportation are likely to run into a roadblock in the House of Delegates, where the Republican leadership has said the existence of a large state surplus should end any talk of a tax increase.

If it is expected to be a long-term surplus, a tax cut should also be considered - although at least Northern Virginia is in desperate need of some road work (I miss Spokane's nice laid-out street grid).


April said...

I doubt they would be willing to bulldoze the nieghborhoods to build the better roads.

Nick said...

That is pretty much what they need to do in some places.