Virginia budget plans include tax rebate, grocery tax elimination

General Assembly passes ethics bill
Posted at 11:47 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 11:47:21-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginians could get some of their tax money back in the year ahead as state budget negotiations continued this weekend at the General Assembly.

The House of Delegates, which is controlled by Republicans, and the State Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, released their two-year state budget plans Sunday afternoon.

Both of the budgets include a one-time tax rebate of several hundred dollars for individuals and families as well as an elimination of the grocery tax, which Gov. Glenn Youngkin has called for.

However, there are some key differences in the budgets.

For example, Democrats want to give teachers and state workers a 5% raise each of the next two years while Republicans are pitching 4% raises with two one-time bonuses.

The two budget plans are about $3-billion apart on overall spending, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"Given the unparalleled growth in revenues, we approached this budget intent on not just spending just because tax revenue was available, but based on spending choices on what is needed," Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, said.

"When thinking about our collective resiliency, I reflect on promises kept, especially the promise that when revenues reclined from the Great Recession, that we would restore items that had been lost," Sen. Janet Howell, D-Arlington, said.

However, the process is far from over as both sides must reach an agreement in the coming weeks before sending the budget to the governor.

The new two-year budget takes effect in July.