Virginia governor unveils tax relief plan

August 24, 2022

Keith Goble


A plan unveiled by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin would provide another shot in the arm for residents coping with higher prices for goods and services via tax relief. Money would also be made available for improvements to Interstate 64.

State lawmakers acted this summer to approve nearly $4 billion in tax relief in the two-year budget that took effect July 1. Included are one-time rebates for eligible taxpayers.

Specifically, individuals with tax liability will receive $250 and joint filers will get up to $500. The rebates are scheduled to be sent starting in October.

More money available

The latest plan from Gov. Glenn Youngkin would set aside about $400 million in tax relief.

The governor cites Virginia’s cash surplus of $3.2 billion from fiscal year 2021 that wrapped up June 30.

About $1.2 billion comes from money appropriated by the legislature but was unspent. Nearly $2 billion is from unplanned revenue.

Speaking last week to a joint meeting of House and Senate money committees, Youngkin said he wants to allot $397 million of the surplus to a fund designated for taxpayer relief.

“The right thing to do is return unplanned revenue to taxpayers,” Youngkin told lawmakers. “It’s not our money. It belongs to the hardworking taxpayers of Virginia.”

Other portions of the surplus are reserved by statute for purposes that include widening Interstate 64. The state has allotted $150 million for the project.

The governor added that not all tax breaks would occur during the current budget cycle. Instead, some reductions would take place over time.

Approval uncertain

The new tax relief plan is expected to be included in budget recommendations the Republican governor will release in December. It will be up to a divided General Assembly to approve the plan.

Some Democratic lawmakers say the tax relief proposal is premature with the possibility of an economic downturn.

Others say they would rather see the surplus used to bump up public worker wages, provide state services, and fund capital improvements. LL

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