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The Confused Candidates: Babur Lateef and Tito Munoz

By Greg L | 9 August 2011 | 36th VA Senate, Prince William County | 3 Comments

I find it particularly amusing when candidates for office don’t understand the taxes government imposes on businesses.  Yesterday Tito Munoz invents a new tax being assessed on small businesses that I’ve never heard of, and this morning Babur Lateef is telling members of the Chamber of Commerce that BPOL taxes are levied on the value of equipment and furniture owned by a business.  Both are small business owners, and they’re not running for entry-level elected offices, so you’d think they might demonstrate some basic level competency regarding the law and government.  Not quite.

Tito Munoz put the following out in a press release yesterday:

In order to attract good, high paying jobs, taxes must be lower. By eliminating the small business tax, it will allow small business owners to reinvest their earnings in growing their businesses – that means more jobs.

Problem solved, Tito.  I eliminated the “small business tax” this morning.  Poof, like magic.  It wasn’t that hard to do given that it didn’t actually exist, but I suppose at this point you have to find a new promise to make to the electorate.  I suggest you advocate eliminating the ‘bacon tax’ and the ‘cheeseburger tax.’  Those will be promises I’m sure you can fulfill, instead of me.

This morning the Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum at NOVA Community College, and the candidates for Chairman all participated.  This being a Chamber event you’d absolutely have to expect they’re going to talk about the BPOL tax, as it’s particularly despised by the business community, and arm yourself with all sorts of data on it.  When the question got to Babur, I was certain he’d give a reasonable answer since he pays this tax (I have to assume) and there has been a ton of discussion on it over the past year or so.  Well, Babur didn’t quite exceed expectations, as it turned out.

Instead, Babur started prattling on about taxes levied on computers and furniture, which are subject to either personal property tax, or Machine & Tools taxes depending on what kind of business you have.  Members of the audience, which was primarily composed of small business owners, seemed to be shaking their heads wondering what the heck was going on.  They know that BPOL is akin to a locally-imposed sales tax on businesses and has absolutely nothing to do with capital equipment and didn’t seem to understand how a small business owner subject to all of this government wealth-grabbing and someone aspiring to be the one in charge of the process that might alter this regime could be so terminally confused.  A business owner should know the taxes he is paying.  A candidate for Chairman ought to know what business taxes he is imposing.

Seriously, if a business owner and candidate for County Chairman of all things can’t tell the difference between BPOL and M&T, have they any business running for Chairman?  I think not.



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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous said on 9 Aug 2011 at 4:26 pm:
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    Kind of like the e-verify, a red herring of a program that WILL not stop illegals from working in construction as contractors with a class c buiseness license.

  2. Forgotten Man said on 9 Aug 2011 at 5:52 pm:
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    I was there as well and was a little taken aback with the response by Dr. Lateef and the obvious confusion between the BPOL (gross receipts tax) and the Business Personal Property reporting requirement.
    Also the time spent on speaking about METRO to Woodbridge and the emphasis on having a world class baseball stadium for the Potomac Nationals visible from I95 seemed a little out of touch as well. Chairman Stewart mentioned that for all intents and purposes the stadium was a done deal and we should move on to the economy and accountability.

    I am not sure as to why John Gray was there as I am sure that he is a very nice person but it is obvious that his leadership and political skills are not yet ready for prime time just yet.

    All in all Chairman Stewart cleary won the day and the field with little if any offense from his competition.

  3. Velvet Groupie said on 11 Aug 2011 at 9:35 am:
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    Neither candidate seems to be that smart!

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