House of Delegates candidates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Spending: Governor Robb has announced a 5 percent across-the-board cut in state spending. Do you think that is needed and fair? If not, where would you cut state spending?
Taxes: Virginia generally is regarded as a low-to-moderate tax state. Are you happy with the way taxes are levied in the state? What changes would you favor in state and local taxes?
Legislation: Local governments must secure state legislation for most of their functions. What specific legislation would you introduce for your area? James N. Burroughs (R), 25, of 1811 Midlothian Ct., Vienna, an attorney and contractor, is on the Fairfax Republican Comittee. He has been a clerk in the General Assembly and a legislative assistant to Rep. Frank Wolf. He is a member of the Jaycees and has been a deacon and president of Youth Fellowship at his church.
Spending: The conservative approach to the budget taken by the General Assembly has usually created a surplus at the end of each biennium. However, it has become apparent that projected revenues will not be sufficient to fund all agencies and programs. As an emergency measure, I would consider the governor's actions to be justified and fair. Across-the-board cuts usually fall hardest on the most efficient and effective agencies and programs that have the least fat in their budgets. This elected Assembly must exercise very strict auditing functions to selectively appropriate funds to the best use. Rather than discuss those programs to be cut, I would emphasize that programs dealing with transportation, education, law enforcement and assistance to the elderly be carefully analyzed before funding is reduced.
Taxes: Generally, the conservative rate of taxation in Virginia has been an incentive to economic growth and has led to a fiscally sound government. Certain changes should be enacted in the tax structure, including: repeal or rebate of the sales tax on food and non-prescription drugs, which falls inequitably hard on those on fixed incomes and the elderly; indexing the rate of the state income tax to prevent bracket creep; and more local options for Fairfax County to relieve the burden from the real property tax.
Legislation: Specific legislation I would introduce in the Legislature would grant Fairfax County the right to elect school boards, provide additional options to Fairfax County so it could lower the tax rate on real property, restore several local magistrates who were recently removed from Fairfax County to return police to their street patrols; establish a Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation district office exclusively for Northern Virginia; and work to provide a more equitable system of tax assessment based on the mandated "market value" of property. David G. Sanders (R), 22, of 7626 Matera St., Falls Church, is an independent businessman and legislative director of the Congressional Majority Committee, a political action committee in support of free enterprise. He has been an aide in the House of Delegates and is in the Jaycees and Army Reserves.
Spending: I fully support a 5 percent across-the-broad cut in state spending. This cost-cutting measure can, if administered rationally and fairly, cut some of the waste out of our government without adversely affecting necessary programs. Further, I feel there are areas in the state budget in which savings of more than 5 percent may be achieved. Specifically, I feel the ever-increasing budget of the state highway department must be more closely scrutinized by the General Assembly. In the next decade our state and local governments will be accepting responsibility and control of programs that are now handled by the federal government. Our challenge is to make these programs more efficient and make government more responsive without increasing taxes. I feel the people of the 35th District deserve a delegate whose commitment to low taxes and spending is greater than that of my more liberal opponent.
Taxes: The vast majority of my neighbors in Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church and I agree that the way state and local taxes are levied is flawed. To improve this system we have proposed a specific, three-part tax plan which will address our taxation problems and encourage employment and economic growth. 1) Property taxes -- As a legislative aide in Richmond I supported and worked for passage of the Truth in Taxation Bill in 1980. I believe we must go one step further and pass legislation to limit the amount a locality can increase combined property tax rates and assessments. (The average assessment increase in Fairfax County was a huge 22 percent last year.) 2) Virginia state income tax rates should be indexed so that those whose incomes are merely keeping pace with inflation are not placed in higher tax brackets. 3) Provide tax incentives to attract clean industry to the Commonwealth.
Legislation: As a lifelong resident of Fairfax County, I feel there are four specific pieces of legislation I would introduce for our community: 1) For too long we have been denied our right to locally elect our own school boards. I feel that taxpayers should have a say in how our children's schools are run. 2) We must work to get the state to address the special transportation needs we have in Northern Virginia. This includes the speedy completion of the complete Metro system; the establishment of a Northern Virginia highway district; and action to clear up traffic snarls in the Route 123 corridor through Tyson's Corner and Vienna. 3) I will work for state support for a program to encourage the use of Dulles Airport. 4) The state should encourage and promote the neighborhood watch programs which have been so helpful in fighting crime in our neighborhoods.