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(I thought Gov. Gilmore said he was going to get rid of the "car tax." An unfulfilled campaign promise? I'm shocked.)

"No Car Tax" was the sound bite. The actual plan was to phase out the personal property tax on the first $20k of a car's value over five years. And rather than a flat 20%/40%/60%/80%/100% phaseout, they proposed a slower 12.5%/27.5%/47.5%/70%/100% phaseout. Nowhere near as nice as "No Car Tax," but still a significant tax cut.

So far the promise has been kept. Virginians are paying much less personal property tax than we used to. It of course remains to be seen if the state will go forward with phasing out the final 30% in 2002, especially if the economy is weak.

I expect that it will: the personal property tax is very unpopular because it's so honest and up-front (you send a check one or two times per year, rather than having the money silently taken from your paycheck or added to each purchase), and this pledge was the cornerstone of Gilmore's campaign, so I think he'd be more likely to make up the revenue in other ways (e.g. raising the sales tax from 4.5% to 6%) if necessary, than to back off on this.
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