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Youngkin to call for income tax changes in budget proposal

Governor Glenn Youngkin wants to decrease the income tax burden for most people in Virginia, reducing the income tax rate in the top bracket from 5.75% to 5.5%.

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin speaks to the media after a transition luncheon in front of the Governor's Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

In an interview with Virginia Public Radio, Youngkin said reducing the income tax rate will help Virginia be more competitive with other states. "You know what the individual tax burden is in Tennessee? Zero. You know what it is in Florida? Zero. You know what it is in Texas? Zero. We've watched a Democrat-led North Carolina take down its tax rates for all North Carolinians. We are behind," he argued.

In October the Joint Legislative and Audit and Review Commission outlined some ways that Virginia could make income taxes more progressive. Now the governor wants to take action on one strategy, which is increasing the standard deduction. "Increasing the standard deduction is a very progressive way to implement tax cuts," Youngkin said. "Those Virginians that have the most need get the biggest tax cut, and I'm very proud that we were able to do most of that in the first budget. But we're going to go back and finish the job."

The governor says his budget proposal will not include other strategies to make the income tax more progressive, things like adding new tax brackets for high-income earners, increasing the minimum filing threshold and tying the tax brackets to inflation.

Lawmakers might raise those issues themselves during the upcoming General Assembly session, when the money committees will work with the governor to hammer out a final budget next year.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.