Aug 24, 2023 - Politics

Virginia budget deal hinges on tax rebates

Illustration of a personal check in the shape of a checkmark in a box

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Virginia taxpayers might be getting another check from the state in the mail.

What's happening: Lawmakers say they think they've reached a deal on the long-overdue state budget.

  • The compromise reportedly hinges on an agreement to issue $200 one-time tax rebates instead of the permanent tax cuts sought by Gov. Glenn Youngkin's administration, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Why it matters: Because Virginia operates on two-year budget cycles, the standoff didn't threaten to shut down state government. But it has tied up new spending initiatives, including big teacher raises, mental health reforms and even funding to help fix the city's poop-spewing sewer system.

The latest: Youngkin addressed lawmakers who sit on key budget and finance committees yesterday, urging them to move fast.

  • After the meeting, top negotiators told reporters that they believe they'll finalize a deal by the end of the week.

What they're saying: "We're all working as hard as we can on that," House Appropriations Chairman Barry Knight, a Republican from Virginia Beach, told reporters, per the Virginia Mercury.

  • "We're all getting along. We're meeting. Last night it was well after 10 o'clock when we broke up."

Catch up fast: Lawmakers adjourned from their legislative session without a deal in February, citing irreconcilable differences as Republicans pushed for tax cuts and Democrats advocated for increased education spending.

  • They've been talking off and on since then.

Details: Lawmakers told the Times-Dispatch and Virginian-Pilot earlier this week that they've reached a tentative compromise to offer one-time tax rebates of $200 for individuals and $400 for couples instead of the permanent corporate and individual tax cuts sought by Youngkin and Republicans.

Of note: Lawmakers have refused to divulge any additional details, so that's pretty much all we know at this point.

ğŸŽ° What we're watching: One of the many unanswered questions is whether lawmakers will use the budget deal to once again block Richmond from holding another casino referendum.

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