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State lawmakers still at odds over Youngkin's proposed tax cuts

Mallory Noe-Payne
/
Radio IQ

Washington's standoff over the debt ceiling may have ended. But the debate over budget amendments in Virginia is still ongoing.

Earlier this year, Governor Glenn Youngkin proposed cutting Virginia's top income tax rate from 5.75% to 5.5%. Megan Davis at the Commonwealth Institute says that would benefit rich people and wealthy corporations while harming those most in need.

"That's just a quarter of a percentage point reduction, but it's going to have very large impacts if implemented," Davis says. "It's going to cost a lot in state revenues while also doing very little for families who need economic relief in kind of filtering that benefit to higher income families."

It's been more than three months since lawmakers ended the General Assembly session and left Richmond. And yet, Senate Democrats and House Republicans have yet to come to a conclusion about tax cuts or anything else.

Former Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling says each side has a powerful incentive to do nothing.

"There's nothing more than Democrats would like to do than accusing Republicans of failing to deliver on the budget," Bolling explains. "There’s nothing more that Republicans would like to do than blame Democrats for being obstructionists and wanting to deny the people of Virginia the tax relief that Governor Youngkin has proposed."

Many senior members of the money committees are currently engaged in hotly contested primaries, so no action is expected until after the June 20th election, and maybe not even until after the new fiscal year starts on July the First.

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.