His thoughts — Takin’ care of business

Published 12:00 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

On June 1, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 88 yeas and 7 nays to adopt the Conference Report for House Bills 29 and 30, which constitute the 2023-2024 biennium budget.

Our Republican majority made tax relief one of our top priorities, and working with Gov. Glenn Youngkin, we’re now able to deliver on most of these efforts.

The bills now headed to Gov. Youngkin make record investments without raising taxes or fees.

While all budgets can have flaws, as this budget is fiscally responsible, I voted in favor of the budget.

This budget spends recurring money on one-time expenses. It contains no tax increases, no fee increases. It creates no new General Fund-supported debt.

While Virginians continue to be saddled with the increased cost of living and inaction from Washington, this budget provides nearly $4 billion in tax relief.

It includes a $250 tax rebate for individuals and $500 for couples, increases the standard deduction nearly 100 percent to $8,000 for individuals and $16,000 for joint filers, and repeals the 1.5% state sales tax on food and personal hygiene products.

An average family of four will see annual savings of more than $1,100 under this budget.

This budget includes record investments in K-12 and higher education. It includes over $3 billion in new, direct aid for K-12, including $1.25 billion to support over $3 billion for school construction projects.

With students headed back to campus in the fall, the General Assembly has provided substantial resources to higher education to freeze tuition increases.

The investments in law enforcement show Virginia’s priorities are to fund, not defund, the brave men and women who protect our communities daily.

This budget also creates the Project Ceasefire program, which will result in fewer gang and firearm related violence in our urban areas.

Small businesses were crippled during the pandemic and this budget protects them from incurring additional costs by replenishing the unemployment trust fund. This budget also ends the accelerated sales tax practice that put undue burdens on Virginia’s small businesses.

Virginia’s employers’ unemployment insurance taxes will not go up, as the budget replenishes the unemployment trust fund.

It was important we approved a budget that keeps Virginia the top state in America. Virginians are ready for our commonwealth to roll full steam ahead without heavy government regulations or high taxes.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at DelTWright@House.Virginia.gov or (804) 698-1061.