- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2001

RICHMOND The Republican candidate for Virginia's lieutenant governor said Friday that he would support freezing the car-tax cut for a year, if necessary, to pay for new anti-terrorism initiatives.
Jay Katzen said public safety has to be the state's top priority following the Sept. 11 hijackings and terrorist attacks that killed thousands in New York, Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Katzen's opponent, Democrat Tim Kaine, said the tax cut should continue on schedule unless the state fails to meet revenue goals written into the law.
Failure to reach those fiscal targets would automatically freeze the tax cut.
"We've got the framework in place. Let's follow it," Mr. Kaine said in an interview.
Both candidates for governor, Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Mark Earley, have outlined preliminary plans to beef up security to guard against further attacks.
"If we have to subordinate 100 percent car-tax relief for a year to make sure we have the resources to do that, we should do it," Mr. Katzen told about 45 corporate lawyers attending a Virginia Bar Association forum.
Mr. Kaine noted that the car-tax cut is financed by state revenue growth.
Public safety should be a high priority for existing revenues, he said.
Mr. Earley remains committed to fully phasing out the personal property tax on the first $20,000 value of cars and trucks next year as scheduled, campaign spokesman David Botkins said Friday.
Mr. Warner has said he wants to phase out the car tax as soon as possible but has refused to commit to a specific timetable.


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