Youngkin seeks $400 million in tax refunds

Governor Glenn Youngkin has now been in office for seven months, and coming up soon is his full General Assembly session that he doesn’t have to share with his predecessor. Yesterday the Governor appeared before the joint House and Senate Money Committees to signal what he wants to achieve. 

“Our shared priorities [are] lowering the cost of living, giving our children the education that they deserve, keeping our communities safe, creating jobs and growing our economy, and transforming the government to serve the people,” Youngkin said. 

Youngkin said the bipartisan budget he signed earlier this year included $4 billion in tax relief and he wants more.

“Today I formally report that Virginia ended the fiscal year with a record general fund balance,” Youngkin said. “I’m incredibly proud to share, and hope Virginians will be proud to hear, that our state government spent roughly $1.2 billion then was appropriated by the General Assembly.”

View Governor Glenn Youngkin’s speech on the Virginia General Assembly website

Youngkin said that ends up in a $3.2 billion cash surplus and he said not all of it has to be spent. About $1.2 billion will be reappropriated, $900 million will go to a rainy-day fund, $585 million will go to items in the FY23 budget, $250 million will go to the Virginia Retirement System, $150 million will go pay to widen Interstate 66, $100 million for capital cost overruns related  to inflation, $85 million for economic development, and $131 million for the water quality improvement fund. 

“After accounting for all earmarked uses of this cash surplus, I have directed the comptroller to assign $397 million for deposit into a fund for taxpayer relief,” Youngkin said. 

Youngkin wants refund checks sent to taxpayers. 

“So please make no mistake,” Youngkin said. “The budget we will introduce in December and the final budget that I intend to sign next year will once again include tax reductions.” 

The General Assembly is split between a Republican-led House of Delegates (52 to 48 seats) and a Democrat-led Senate (21 to 19 seats). 

Youngkin is a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024 and his comments appeared to position his seven months as Governor as experience for why he is qualified to be the head of the federal executive branch.  

Youngkin claimed Virginia suffered under eight years under two Democratic governors. As evidence, he cited the news announced in June that Lego will open a factory in Chesterfield as evidence, but that deal was brokered through the non-partisan Virginia Economic Development Partnership and relied on multiple parties and multiple approvals such as Chesterfield County, the Greater Richmond Partnership, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission. That takes much longer than seven months. The workforce will be trained through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, which launched in 2019 when a different governor was in office. (learn more)

Youngkin also said Virginia needs to cut regulations that he claims stop businesses from moving forward. He’s established a new Office of Regulatory Management and this will be run by Andrew Wheeler, who the General Assembly declined to confirm as Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources. He also signaled an interest in telling Virginia localities to loosen restrictions on homebuilding. 

“We must tackle root causes behind the supply and demand mismatch in places to live,” Youngkin said. “Unnecessary regulation, over burdensome and inefficient local governments, restrictive zoning policies, and an ideology of facing tooth and nail against any development,” Youngkin said. 

Youngkin did not offer specifics. More on Virginia government in future editions of Charlottesville Community Engagement.

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the August 20, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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