Daily Press (Sunday)



Budget proposal

Re “Youngkin’s budget proposal would cut income taxes while raising sales tax” (Dec. 20): Virginia’s governor wants to lower the state income tax by 12% but raise the state sales tax by 0.9%. He also wants to ensure all online purchases made in Virginia are taxed.

He wants to abolish the local vehicle property tax that varies from city to city and by type and age of a vehicle. It would be replaced by an increased local sales tax to offset the loss to the locale. He may not have the authority to alter the property tax under the state Constituti­on.

Getting state income taxes reduced and getting rid of the “hated” vehicle tax sounds great but replacing them with increased sales taxes might stifle purchasing as it raises the purchase cost. In Virginia Beach, we already pay a sales tax and a prepared meals and drinks tax every time we go out to eat. Total sales taxes on purchases range from around 5.3% to 7% depending on where one lives.

Fewer purchases would decrease the amount of tax collected by the state, but at the same time will probably increase the cost of the item to the consumer to make up the loss in sales, which might further decrease sales. Not a great idea in the current economy.

The taxpayer will save money when he files his or her taxes but will spend more during the year depending on purchase totals. The total anticipate­d savings for us might not be as rosy as the state says.

— Michael Harp, Virginia Beach

Our democracy

I just watched a special where

Judy Woodruff interviewe­d different people to talk about the divisivene­ss in our country. I think the issue is that we have begun to “legislate morality,” and people are assuming people who don’t share their particular values are immoral and therefore should be removed from the democratic process.

If you believe anyone who favors a woman’s right to choose, no matter how limited his or her approach might be, is “evil,” then there is no room for discourse. If you feel someone who identifies with or practices a sexual lifestyle different from yours is “evil,” then there is no room for discourse. If such a person also volunteers at homeless shelters, delivers Meals on Wheels, donates generously to charity, goes to church, rescues animals, laughs at your jokes and decorates his or her Christmas tree just like you do, is that person still “evil” and does that negate everything he or she values?

Is such a person immoral because he or she believes in protecting the environmen­t, helping neighbors to live well and allowing libraries to have a variety of books on subjects that didn’t used to get talked about? If so, then you live in your own world, and there is no room for discourse, and that is the end of our democracy.

— Carolyn Poissant, Newport News

14th Amendment

Re “The Constituti­on’s insurrecti­on clause threatens Trump’s campaign. Here is how that is playing out.” (Dec. 20): I’ve got to give the Democrats credit for being innovative. Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court suddenly imagined that it has the power to decide who can and cannot be on that state’s ballot, including for the presidency.

Their justificat­ion centers around their precedent-setting interpreta­tion of the 14th Amendment. Who’d expect the Democrats to suddenly and without warning embrace any part of the Constituti­on? So now California — usually the leader, not a “me too,” in such insanity — is pursuing doing something similar, all in the name of protecting democracy, by not letting people vote for who they want.

— Don Lovett, Smithfield

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