Misunderstanding at tax time

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, April 24, 2019

By the time you read this column, you will have settled up on your tax liability to the federal government and maybe to Virginia also. It is never fun.

This year, however, was easier because the increase of the personal deduction allowed many to not worry so much about this expense or that. This is because of the tax cut that President Trump pushed through Congress despite some objections of some made changes on how and what was taxed. Interestingly, some have tried to accuse the president of raising their taxes while “big companies” are not paying any taxes.

I was in a store this week and that was exactly what one gentleman said. He stated that he had to write a check for more than he ever had. When I mentioned that maybe he ought to check his pay stub and see how much less federal taxes had been taken out during the year, he explained that he did not get a pay check; that he was on two pensions. (He was an employee at the store in which I saw him.) I quickly realized there was no reason to continue a conversation if he was not going to be honest, therefore, I left.

This spring, I have had people make similar comments about having to pay taxes that they never had to before. They reason that their taxes must have gone up. If they would simply review what was taken out in taxes this year versus last year, they would clearly see they are paying less in taxes.

This year in Richmond, Governor Northam thought he could slip a fast one on the tax payers by promising to spend tax money on various popular programs. His proposal was to divert tax dollars to Virginia government from changes in last year’s federal tax cut. This would have fattened state government by almost $1 billion. We stopped him by redirecting that money to the tax payers of Virginia.


Another misunderstanding is that elected officials can create jobs. I assure you that is not the fact. The only thing that we can do is assist the localities we represent by aiding them in any way we can. That can come in many forms. However, first a company must find the community attractive to their business. As with Microsoft in Mecklenburg, the county asked for me to just be there, and I was able to have Governor McDonnell join me. Sometimes, such as with the Tobacco Commission, we are able to aid with infrastructure needs such as extensions of water or sewer lines.

Again, however, first there must be a company that sees a value in choosing one site over another.


One of the traditions in Clarksville for many years is several churches of different denominations walk down the street in unity on Palm Sunday from the Fine Arts Center then split and go to their various churches. This year, for the first time in 20 years, we did not. My hope is that we will resume the walk next year. That walk is as much of the Easter celebration as the Easter service itself. It is events such as these that have helped Jessie and I instill faith in our children.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen. Ruff@verizon.net.