Approved Va. budget includes tax rebate, return of sales tax holiday

House and Senate leaders voted on the budget revisions during a special session
The Virginia General Assembly reconvened on Wednesday to approve the budget.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 2:35 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 5:56 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia lawmakers approved a budget compromise on Wednesday, which includes a one-time tax rebate and the reinstatement of the sales tax holiday.

The special session comes as Gov. Glenn Youngkin urged lawmakers to return to the table and reach a compromise months after negotiations hit a standstill.

Del. Barry Knight, R-81st District, said the budget revisions were a “bipartisan, bicameral compromise” during his speech on the floor.

“Nothing is one-sided around here,” said Del. Knight. “This is our compromise both sides have agreed on.”

“I want to thank all the Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the aisle that stayed engaged, stayed focused on our priorities, and we were able to reach an agreement that put Virginia families over corporations,” said Democratic Leader Don Scott, D-80th District.

The 758-page budget includes more than $1 billion in tax reductions, including a one-time tax rebate of $200 for individuals and $400 for joint filers. It also increases the standard deduction to $8,500 for single filers and $17,000 for joint filers.

The sales tax holiday, traditionally held in early August on back-to-school and hurricane preparedness items, is also returning after it expired earlier this year. According to online budget documents, lawmakers have penciled in a tax holiday for the third week of October.

The budget also includes $645 million in aid for public education, including teacher raises and money to help with learning loss.

“What we did now is what we had to do to keep our public schools on track, but we can do a lot more,” said Del. Scott.

Education was a top budget priority Del. Scott shared in a previous interview with NBC12 after Gov. Youngkin pushed state lawmakers to come to the table and iron out a compromise for the budget revisions.

“We got more for schools, we got more for mental health, we’ve got more for sheriffs when they have to take these temporary detention orders, and we’re paying for that in salaries, so it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Del. Knight.

“I appreciate the hard work of the General Assembly and our budget conferees to send a budget to my desk,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said. “While the process took longer than needed, more than $1 billion in tax relief is on the way to Virginia veterans, working families and businesses. Additionally, this collaborative effort ensured the funding of our shared priorities: investing in students and teachers, supporting our law enforcement community and transforming the way behavioral health care is delivered in the Commonwealth. There’s more work to be done, but I applaud the General Assembly for their work today.”

The budget will now head to Youngkin’s desk to review any changes or amendments before his final signature.

“I’ve talked to the Governor in generalities on everything he understands the compromise. There’s some things he would’ve liked to have in it, on some more tax cuts or maybe some corporate stuff,” said Del. Knight. “Unless there’s something in there that pops his head up and finds egregious, I’m hopeful he’ll sign the budget in seven days.”

“I think the Governor knows that he shouldn’t touch this budget,” said Del. Scott. “This budget was negotiated in good faith by all parties.”

Click/tap here for a full breakdown from NBC12′s partner, the Virginia Mercury.