Tomblin Campaign Debuts Commercials
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By Steven Allen Adams
Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor and Democratic nominee in the Oct. 4 special election for governor of West Virginia, debuted his first TV commercial since the May 14 primary.
The ad, titled “Balanced Budget,” shows off Tomblin’s accomplishments during over the past 10 months since he took over as acting governor, replacing Joe Manchin, who is serving out the remaining term of the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.
The ad gives credit to Tomblin for balancing the budget by trimming $18 million through line-item vetoes, presiding over a $320 million surplus, reducing business tax rates, vetoing a plan to raise drivers’ registration fees, and reducing the food tax with plans to eliminate it by 2013. But many of Tomblin’s claims are exaggerated.
According to the Government Accounting Office, there were 48 states with balanced budget requirements, including West Virginia. It is legally required to balance the budget. It’s true that Tomblin cut $18 million from the general revenue budget, but budget appropriations increased by 7.03 percent; from $3.739 billion in fiscal year 2011 to $4.002 billion in fiscal year 2012.
Tomblin did preside over a $320 budget surplus, but he didn’t lower the corporate net income tax. West Virginia Code requires the corporate net income tax rate automatically drop when the state’s Rainy Day Fund balance equals and/or exceeds 10 percent of what is budgeted for the General Fund. Half of the surplus was placed in the Rainy Day Fund, dropping the corporate net income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 7.75 percent.
As for vetoing drivers’ registration fee increases, that’s true, but it was the Department of Transportation, an executive branch agency, that requested the fee increases. As for the food tax, Tomblin proposed legislation cutting it from 3 percent to 2 percent, which passed during the 2011 general session.
During the redistricting special session he proposed a .5 percent cut, but that was expanded by the Legislature to another 1 percent cut in 2012, with the complete elimination of the food tax by 2013. The state stands to lose $81 million in annual revenue once the food tax dies.
Tomblin is running against Republican Bill Maloney, the Mountain Party’s Bob Henry Baber, American Third Position‘s Harry Bertram, and independent candidate Marla Ingels.
- WVGOV: Tomblin Receives Teamsters Endorsement (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
- WVGOV: Tomblin Receives NRA Endorsement, Maloney Launches TV Ads (with video) (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
Posted under Audio, Elections, Governor, News, Politics, West Virginia.
Tags: Bill Maloney, Bob Henry Baber, Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor, Joe Manchin, Mountain Party, Rainy Day Fund, special election, West Virginia
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