By Delegate Rob Bloxom
Listen to this report:
The 2019 session is speeding to an end as our work will be finished in a little more than a week. The most important work has been to decide how much money the Commonwealth has to spend. The State received a”windfall” because of the changes in the Federal tax code which were part of the Trump tax cuts. The issue was the inability to itemize on state tax returns, with the result of most people having to pay more in state taxes.
The Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia approved legislation that will provide nearly one billion dollars in tax relief to the taxpayers of 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.
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.
We now wait to see how spending priorities between the House and Senate budgets get conformed. Tensions run high and the fate of bills may hang in the balance due to hurt feelings. I never get too tied to a bill or project, as good judgement could be compromised when someone wants to trade a vote or hold something over you. I will sacrifice my bill or my project before I vote for a bill that I consider to be bad policy.