Retailers and shoppers react to Governor's proposed tax hike - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Retailers and shoppers react to Governor's proposed tax hike

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

One day after Governor Bob McDonnell's bold proposal to increase sales taxes, NBC 12 took his plan to the streets to find out how it might impact you.

"We have a lot of local artists' jewelry and some of them used vintage things," retailer Ashby Sanderson points out items for sell at Glass Boat in Carytown.

Owners say business is picking up.

"It's better than it has been since '07, '08," said owner John Hyatt.

He says he sees signs of survival every time a customer walks through the door and since many are looking for bargains, Hyatt is waiting to see how the governor's proposal would affect his bottom line.

"It seems like it puts an onus on consumers. It also would be nice to have your gasoline cost 17 cents less," he chimed in.

Tuesday, McDonnell announced he wants to throw out Virginia's 17.5 cent gas tax and increase the sales tax from 5 to 5.8 % to fund transportation.

"Everything can start to creep up in little bits and before you know it, lots of taxes have increased," said shopper Sally Vitsky.

Others have different thoughts.

"Everyone has to pay their fair share," said Peggy Larmore.

Try telling that to Darryl Davis.

"People that don't have a job, that don't work, it's going to affect them more than others," he said.

Davis doesn't drive, so he never worried about the gas tax but he does have to shop like everyone else. Now he feels he'd be negatively impacted if the sales tax goes up.

"That one percent is a whole lot when you don't have it," he said.

Business owners and consumers just hearing of the plan are now weighing in to see if they can really handle a hike.

"Something small, it doesn't make much of a difference but it makes a lot of difference if you're buying a piece of furniture," Sanderson said.

This is only a proposal. It has to make its way pass lawmakers. If it passes, you could see the tax increase in place come July. Under the proposal, you'd also pay an extra $15 when you renew your vehicle registration each year and people who drive alternative fuel vehicles would pay an extra $100 fee to help fund roads.

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