Bragging Rights

As a rebel by temperament, I tend to be highly critical of the way we Virginians conduct our business. But it’s OK to remind ourselves occasionally that we do a few things right. In his State of the Commonwealth speech yesterday, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine listed a number of accomplishments that Virginia can be proud of.

As our Department of Health prepares to celebrate its 100th year of service, they have helped Virginia capture one of the highest rankings in the nation for preparedness for public health emergencies.

Virginia was named the best state for business in the nation this year by, CNBC, and other business publications. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, our average wages are among the highest, and with your support for the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, we announced the creation of over 15,500 new jobs in 2007. Just yesterday, we started 2008 off with a great economic development victory—RTI will invest $100 million and bring 150 high-paying
titanium processing jobs to the Martinsville/Henry County region.

Virginia’s per capita state and local tax burden as a percent of income ranks 43rd – one of the lowest in the nation – and our per capita income is the 9th highest in America. Our fiscal stewardship has been rewarded with rare Triple A ratings by all three major bonding agencies.

According to Education Week, children born in Virginia have the best chance of life success of any children in the nation. Ten Virginia high schools made Newsweek’s top 100 high schools list, and three of Virginia’s public universities are ranked in US News and World Report’s top 100.

For more information about that $100 million investment in Martinsville, which will create 150 jobs, click here.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    see what happens when you have GOOD Democratic Governance?


  2. Anonymous Avatar


    It’s called Fairfax County subsidizes the rest of the Commonwealth. I’d like to see some improvements in Fairfax County that are comparable to the amount of additional tax dollars we ship south.

    I just saw a report indicating that with Mark Warner-John Chichester’s tax increases, Henrico County, not exactly poverty city, was able to reduce its local outlay for public schools because state aid went up so much. While Henrico’s local reduction was small (c. $53 per student), other counties made huge cuts in local outlays for their public schools. Caroline County cut local expenditures by $760 and Martinsville by $1,016.

    My state and local taxes went up, as did those of most people in Fairfax County. Meanwhile, we have trailers up the wazoo and kids eating lunch at 10:10 — 7th Graders at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna.

    The magic of Virginia is produced by federal spending and Fairfax County taxes. The good thing is that most Fairfax County residents are too complacent to care!

    Let’s bring back Doug Wilder. Now there’s a Democrat I truly like! You can keep Warner, Kaine and RINO Chichester.



  3. Jim Bacon Avatar

    TMT, Could you provide the details of where to locate that report? I would like to see it — indeed, to link to it, if it resides online.

  4. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I continue to be amazed.. not bamboozled that the ELECTED leaders of NoVa are not demanding that the State Level allocation formula for schools not be made more fair and equitable.

    I think one step in the right direction might be that SOQ money (which I think is how the transfers are actually accomplished) be two stage.

    The first stage would be a minimum amount based on a more FAIR ability to pay index.

    And the second stage – a state match of locality funds much like the way that VDOT offers a matching program over and beyond their standard 6yr money.

    On one hand, I am appalled at the level of funding that some school districts extract from their taxpayers and then on the other hand, other localities that seem perfectly willing to shortchange their kids in the interests of lower taxes.

    I think there is some value to local autonomy for schools but on the other hand.. every kid in Virginia should have an equal opportunity at a state-mandated standard education.

    The SOQs are the state-mandate but they are being abused by localities that don’t want to equitably fund their own program.. because they know.. how to “game” the state formulas…

    again.. I am really surprised that the leaders of places like NoVa do not see the current setup as essentially an extra “tax” on their own constituents.

Leave a Reply