General Assembly approves $1B tax relief package

By  | 

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) — The Virginia General Assembly approved legislation on Tuesday that aims to provide nearly $1 billion in tax relief to Virginia’s taxpayers.

According to a release from Senators For Virginia, the legislation will provide $420 million to Virginia taxpayers later this year, in the form of tax rebates of $110 for individual filers and $220 for married couples.

It raises the standard deduction by fifty percent beginning in tax year 2019, the first such change for individual filers since 1989. The bill also maintains the current rules for state and local taxes (SALT), and includes key provisions for job creating businesses, the release stated.

In total, the legislation will guarantee at least $976 million in tax relief and ensure that all additional revenues from the permanent provisions of federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are placed in the state’s cash reserve fund. The legislation also conforms Virginia tax law to the federal law, ensuring Virginians will be able to file their state taxes without complications this May.

“I am proud of the hard work that has gone into crafting this bipartisan legislation that will put more money in the pockets of hard-working Virginians,” said Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “This legislation represents the most significant tax relief package in the Commonwealth in at least 15 years. I want to thank leaders on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers for the dedication they put into crafting this legislation.”

House Bill 2529, sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), was approved by votes of 95-4 in the House and 35 to 5 in the Senate. Senate Bill 1372, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), was approved by votes of 95-4 in the House and 38 to 2 in the Senate. The identical bills were approved as “emergency” legislation, allowing their provisions to become effective as soon as they are signed by the Governor.

“The passage of these bills is the culmination of weeks of negotiations by lawmakers committed to delivering the most for Virginia taxpayers,” said Norment, Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “This would not have happened without a clear vision for a simple, direct plan that could earn the support of the both parties, both chambers, and the Administration. Delegates and senators, Democrats and Republicans, worked together to approve a major legislative achievement that was unforeseeable even a few weeks ago.”

Providing tax relief while maintaining our commitment to responsible, conservative budgeting was essential to securing the overwhelming bipartisan support this plan received,” said Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-Augusta). “With this plan, we can craft a budget that limits spending increases, maintains a low and sustainable rate of growth, and preserves our AAA bond rating.”