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Youngkin’s proposed budget includes tax reform, record education spending

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(The Center Square) — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has released his proposed fiscal year 2025-2026 “Unleashing Opportunity” budget, replete with his characteristic tax relief and a record investment in education.

“Unleashing Opportunity means allowing Virginians to keep more of their hard-earned money, being prepared to take good jobs with a great education, in safe communities, where they can find the resources they need when they need them, in a state that understands what taking care of God’s natural resources means, with a government that works efficiently for all Virginians,” Youngkin said.

As he has tried to do in the past with limited success, Youngkin has introduced a slew of tax reforms that, if passed, would result in substantial changes to the commonwealth’s income and property taxes.

The proposed budget includes $1 billion in tax cuts over two years, a universal 12% income tax reduction, and an additional 25% reduction for qualifying low-income Virginians through a Virginia Earned Income Tax.

Youngkin also wants to do away with the commonwealth’s “car tax,” or the personal property tax on vehicles.

To help finance these reforms, the governor proposes increasing the state sales and use tax from the current 4.3% to 5.2%. He also wants to “diversify the tax base by closing the big tech tax loophole.”

The largest single-state investment in the upcoming budget is in education. Virginia’s largest-ever education budget — after the previous record education budget two years ago and a summertime report that indicated Virginia had underfunded education for years — is $24 billion.

This includes over $700 million more for K-12 schools, over $448 million toward early education programs for low-income families, $60 million toward the state’s lab school initiative and $17 million for campus safety and security, among many other investments.

Democratic state legislators have already responded.

“Gov. Youngkin wants to cut income taxes and raise the sales tax in Virginia. While the wealthy get a tax cut, middle class families make up the difference with increased sales tax,” VA House Democrats posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“We need ‘a budget that puts working families first’.”

The budget will be discussed and debated in the upcoming legislative session.

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