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? Wayne M. Lynch (D), 45, of 4424 Old Columbia Pike, Annandale, manager of a real estate investment company, co-chaired the 1977 citizen's committee on the courthouse bond referendum and has served on Chamber of Commerce and other boards. He has advanced degrees in law and urban and regional planning.
Spending: A 5 percent across-the-board cut in state spending is a valid interim solution to the problems created by a weakened economy and the resulting failure to meet revenue projections. Constitutional restrictions against deficit spending and a policy placing a high priority on prudent fiscal management to prevent more serious future problems appear to make this step necessary and wise. Although I have not had access to the detailed information on which the governor's decision was based, I agree with his philosophy and support his judgment. The Legislature will modify the budget to adapt to conditions as they exist at the time of the next session.
Taxes: The state tax and revenue structure is complex and generalizations about changes risk obscuring real impacts. I believe that movement toward three objectives is necessary in order to achieve a more equitable revenue structure: 1) there should be less reliance on sales-tax revenue generated from sales of basic necessities; 2) there should be more emphasis on recovering the cost of selected services through user fees; and 3) there should be a modification of local revenue sources to achieve some relief for homeowners from real taxes.
Legislation: Fairfax County regularly compiles a list of legislative priorities and works with its delegation to obtain necessary changes in state law. I would be very comfortable with this process and, since the district I would represent is a somewhat different constituency from that of any other elected official, I would also feel comfortable about making an independent judgment about the merits of each specific proposal. Over the years, there has been a slowly evolving tendency to expand the power of local elected officials to manage local affairs, and the pace of this evolution tends to vary with the degree of sophistication of the machinery of local government. I think that this is the proper direction in which to move, but I am not interested in unduly accelerating the process. Nora A. Squyres (D), 61, of 3705 S. George Mason Dr., Falls Church, is a Navy veteran and former financial analyst, intelligence officer and program manager for the government. She has taught money management and is active in civic groups and women's programs, Democratic politics and Realtors' associations.
Spending: Spending cuts are always painful to those directly affected. However, this cut does not appear excessive in view of state revenue shortfalls caused by the Reagan budget cuts, high unemployment and reduced income and sales taxes resulting from a downturn in the national economy. If cuts are necessary, such areas as education, programs for the mentally and physically handicapped and other essential human services should be exempted. Decisive action now will preclude development of a more serious budgetary crisis later, such as is now being experienced in some other states.
Taxes: Virginia has a long history of fiscal integrity, and changes in our tax laws should be made only after long and careful study. A major concern of Northern Virginians is that we do not get back a fair share of the revenues we provide to the state, based on our percentage of the population, resulting in a growing pressure on local real estate taxes to compensate for the shortfall. I would like to see the regressive sales tax on food repealed because it strikes hardest at those individuals with the lowest incomes who spend a proportionately larger part of their money on food. Additional revenue could be generated through economic development programs to broaden the business tax base and wider application of user fees.
Legislation: I feel that localities should have the option of deciding whether members of the school board should be elected or appointed. (It is my understanding that Virginia is one of the very few states in the nation with no provisions for any form of an elected school board.) I will also continue my efforts to make women equal partners in all aspects of the society, whether they choose to be full-time homemakers or to enter the workplace through choice or necessity. Another of my priority concerns is the critical and growing problems of drug and alcohol abuse, particularly by our young people. I would also seek the advice and recommendations of the Fairfax County Board on needed local legislation.