LEESBURG, Va. (7News) — On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin crisscrossed the state taking a victory lap on delivering his promise to allow parents to choose if their child wears a face-covering in school or not.
“This morning, I wanted to meet with Virginians,” Youngkin said. “And what better place to do it than here in Loudoun County!”
The Republican governor is now setting his sights on his next agenda item: cutting taxes.
Youngkin says government coffers are so full from “overtaxing” that it’s time to give money back to Virginians. With a few weeks left in the legislative session, Youngkin is pushing lawmakers to pass his tax relief plan which includes eliminating the grocery tax, doubling the standard deduction from $9,000 to $18,000, and suspending the nickel increase in the gas tax for one year.
“We watched gas prices go through the roof,” said Youngkin. “We watched gas prices go through the roof and they don’t seem to have inclination to come back down.”
He also wants the state to stop taxing veterans’ 401(k)s.
“We believe that our veterans are such a critical part of our community and we see more veterans moving away - like Virginians - than staying here,” said Youngkin. “And one of the main reasons for moving away is the cost of living.”
Youngkin says the decisions being made in Washington, D.C. have a big impact on the rising cost of living. At least two former governors agree.
“I think the national economy will have an effect on the state economy. I think it’s good to be positive. I think it’s good to dream big, think big, but reality will set in, and as I said to some of the people who will be working with him you are going to have a tough job,” said former Democratic Governor Doug Wilder.
“The Federal government has been flooding the system with money, just flooding it with borrowed money,” said former Republican Governor Jim Gilmore. “This flood of money is resulting in high inflation.”
As the price for used cars goes up this year – so may your car tax bill. Gilmore wishes lawmakers will finally scrap Virginia’s car tax.
“We ought to get rid of the balance of the car tax,” said Gilmore. “We ought to be doing that. We should have done it when I was in office. This was by signature issue 20 years ago and I put a system in place to completely get rid of it. Then when I left the governorship, it was stopped. It was capped. And over the years the taxes are creeping up. We ought to get back on track. There's plenty of money. You could phase it out overnight if they wanted to."
Eliminating Virginia’s car tax is not currently in Youngkin ’s tax relief plan.
"Car taxes and real estate taxes are local government,” said Youngkin. “And we strongly encourage local government to be responsible to citizens. And that's why we have pushed to have a referendum before real estate taxes can go up more than 1%. Local government has to remember that if they are constantly raising taxes, and allowing appreciation to go up and raise more and more taxes, people are gonna move away, they're gonna go someplace else. And so we should step back and make sure that we're being very, very conscious about how much we're taxing people. That's what we're doing at the state level and I would encourage every single local government to be very responsible to their bosses."
Instead of repealing the car tax, Youngkin is banking on giving the largest tax rebate in Virginia’s history totaling $1,500 per family.
”We can cut taxes with a tax rebate and going forward reduce the tax burdens on Virginians and invest and in fact do it all right now,” said Youngkin.