Leahy: Tax Cuts Are Probably Coming to Virginia, But Dan Snyder Gets Benched

A couple of weeks ago in this space, I wrote about three items to watch in Virginia politics. One of the big items on that list — the state budget and, in particular, the tax issues that kept lawmakers divided long past the end of the legislative session — is finally moving toward resolution.

The whispers about the General Assembly being on the verge of agreeing to a “very good budget” that would include “meaningful tax reduction” appear to be true. The outlines of the tax deal show that everyone gets a win but had to give up something in the process.

For Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), it means most of the tax on groceries will be repealed — but not the 1 percent local governments are allowed to charge. Though full repeal would have been the right and proper thing to do, doing away with the state’s 1.5 percent portion is still a win.

The personal income tax deduction is rising, too. As the Virginia Mercury’s Graham Moomaw reported, “the standard deduction for single filers [would rise] from $4,500 to $8,000. For married couples filing jointly, it would rise from $9,000 to $16,000.”

Again, the governor gets most of what he wanted here. The original proposal was for the deduction to rise to $9,000 for individuals and $18,000 for joint filers. And it’s a big concession from the Senate, which wanted to study how an increased deduction would affect state finances.

The compromise includes items only a state legislator could find appealing.

One is ending the higher deduction in 2026. A second is the inclusion of a provision that, as Moomaw wrote, “would slightly scale back the amount of relief offered to taxpayers if the state’s budget picture worsens heading into new budget years in 2022 and 2023.”

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