Today is Day 1 of the Virginia Democrats’ Tax Refund Delay.
Thirty-four Virginia Democrats voted against emergency legislation that would have immediately conformed the state tax code to federal tax law changes. Emergency legislation requires 80 votes, and despite the fact that 13 Democrats crossed party lines to join a unified Republican Caucus in supporting conformity, Democrats blocked the measure.
The practical effect of this is very real. Without emergency legislation, the state tax department cannot issue refunds to taxpayers. And now, taxpayers will be required to deal with complex tax forms that include up to 50 different modifications to address Democrats refusal to pass conformity legislation.
Democrats opposed the conformity bill because it included a lockbox to protect taxpayers. The Taxpayer Relief Fund would have set aside all revenue from conformity to ensure that money is used for tax relief. The thirty-four Democrats who voted against conformity are apparently more interested in spending taxpayer money than giving it back.
House Republicans revived the conformity measure, but were forced to remove the emergency clause. The House will take up conformity, along with Delegate Tim Hugo’s tax relief legislation, on Tuesday. We have no doubt Democrats will oppose that too.