Why did he say that?
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Deeds: I’m the only candidate on the stage who’s gonna vote for a transportation bill that includes new money.Is he going to raise taxes? Or was that question answered in the dialogue....
Q: So, is that a pledge that you won’t raise taxes?
Deeds: No, it’s not a pledge. I don’t take pledges. No.
Q: So, you would be willing to sign … you still would be willing to sign a bill that included a tax increase?
Deeds: Absolutely. I did not mean to make news with that perspective. I mean, with that answer I didn’t mean to change anything. I’m willing to sign a bill that raises new money for transportation. In fact, I intend to sign that bill next year.
Q: Creigh, I just need to clarify. You said, “what I said” was what you just said now. “What I said was that I have no plan to raise taxes.”
Q: Is that correct?
Deeds: That’s right.
Q: (overlapping): But in general fund taxes. General fund.
Deeds: I have no, I have plan to raise taxes. What I want to do is to get a transportation bill passed next year, and that’s gonna … we’re gonna have to raise money when we, um, when we fund transportation. That’s the bottom line.
Deeds: Everything is on the table with me, except one thing: taking money out of the general fund, taking money out of education. Everything’s on the table. It’s about bringing people together.
Q: But when you said, “I’m not going to raise taxes,” what did you mean? You said in the debate, “I’m not going to raise taxes.” What did that mean?
Deeds: What that meant in the general sense of the term, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna raise general fund taxes. Um, I know we’re gonna have to raise money for transportation.
Q: So you’ll raise other kinds of taxes?
Deeds: I think I, I, I, I meant … I meant what I said. I have no, um, plan to raise general fund taxes. Um …
Q: So what kind of taxes would you raise?
Deeds: We’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re gonna ha … everything’s on the table when we consider how we raise money for transportation.
Q: Is the gas tax a general fund tax? Does the gas tax go into the general fund?
Deeds: [pause] The gas tax goes into the Transportation Trust Fund.
Q: So it would not then be covered under “not raising general fund taxes.”
Deeds: [pause] I think I made myself clear, young lady, I don’t know.
Q: I’m sorry, Creigh, I’m not trying to be mean, I just don’t quite understand.
Deeds: [ignores – turns his back to reporter]
Q: I think what people are trying to understand … is the bottom line for people …
Deeds: For transportation, everything’s on the table except taking money out of the general fund … out of taking money out of education. We have to raise money for transportation. We have a need that exceeds a billion dollars a year. Um .. we have to come up with a billion dollars a year of new money. And to arrive at that, everything’s on the table with me, except taking money out of the general fund, taking money out of education. Now, here’s, here’s the problem to me … the other guy will tell you you can take money for any reason. I guess literally that’s correct, but honestly, last week, the governor announced a 1.35 billion dollar general fund reduction in fu … in sums, primarily from higher education, from the Department of Corrections, from other services. Now, the reality is we’ve got major needs in the, in the general fund areas and we can’t rob Peter to pay Paul. We’ve got to fix transportation. We have to come up with new … with real money to do it.
Q: And for people who don’t understand what it means: the general fund. Will Virginians see a tax increase if indeed you are elected?
Deeds: Virginians will not see a tax increase that goes to the general fund.
Q: But they might see one that goes to the transportation fund.
Deeds: They might see that … we’re gonna raise money for transportation, but you know, until we can bring people together and develop consensus around a series of ideas, it’s hard to know how that … what form that’s gonna take. But we’re gonna have to raise money for transportation.
Deeds Staffer: We’ve got time for one more question.
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