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2004-02-12 Governor Warner's latest half-truth

Governor ignores spending surge during dot-com bubble

Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, today accused Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner of again misleading Virginia taxpayers to promote higher taxes.

Yesterday's Washington Post reports that Governor Warner had claimed that general fund spending on state services had been held flat for the past three years ("Warner's Budget Plan Has $6 Billion Question", p. B4, 2/11/04).

Mr. Purves stated, "What Governor Warner is omitting is that during the dot-com bubble (FY1997-00), spending increased at an average annual rate of ten percent. He is also failing to say that starting next year spending is projected to increase at an average annual rate of six percent, even without a tax increase. In addition, he is not revealing that to keep up with inflation and population the budget needs to increase only four percent per year."

Between FY1992 and FY2004 (the current fiscal year) Virginia's average annual increase in general fund spending is six percent per year, even with the flat spending following the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2001. "The Virginia budget crisis is not due to a shortage of revenue; it is due to a surge in revenues and excessive spending during the dot-com bubble," Mr. Purves stated.