House Democrats Plan $1.3 Billion Tax Hike, ‘Study’ Pay Raises for Themselves in 2024-2026 Biennial Budget
RICHMOND — House Democrats today proposed more than $1.3 billion in higher taxes on hard-working Virginia families, just days after telling Virginians that there’s no room in the budget to prosecute those poisoning children with counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills.
“Elections have consequences, and this is one of the most predictable results ever. When Democrats are in charge, they will raise taxes,” said House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert.
“Democrats have hijacked Governor Youngkin’s plan to make Virginia’s tax structure more progressive and resilient by dumping all of his proposed tax cuts but keeping the offsets he proposed,” he added. “That means higher taxes for Virginia families already struggling with the aftermath of sky high inflation.”
Spending priorities in this budget are simply out of touch with everyday Virginians and their concerns.
Earlier this week Democrats said there wasn’t room in the budget for $100,000 to arrest, prosecute, and jail those who create counterfeit drugs that are poisoning our children, or fund new efforts to combat human trafficking.
Neither bill was advanced and the fentanyl legislation was “not heard by the committee due to fiscal impact,” said Del. Vivian Watts, the Democrat chair of the Courts of Justice Criminal subcommittee. The budget does contain $150,000 for Watts’ HB 884, which creates a pilot program for stopping cars with loud mufflers.
“Now we know that wasn’t true,” said Gilbert, “They would simply rather prioritize noisy mufflers in affluent parts of Virginia over kids dying of fentanyl poisoning.”
Eight kids overdosed on fentanyl in one week at a a Loudoun County High School, so Republicans brought forward a bill to crack down on people who produce counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. House Democrats refuse to even hear the bill. Why? It’s too expensive. Cost? $50,000 over two years.
Even worse, the budget creates a study to “review the current levels of compensation” for legislators. “It’s not enough that they’re going to take another $1.3 billion from Virginia families, they’re also laying the groundwork to give themselves a massive raise next year,” Gilbert said.
If Democrats adopt the model of nearby states such as Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, they would nearly triple their existing salaries while taxpayers have to dig even deeper into their own wallets.
Other lowlights include:
• Tying literally every dollar of state spending to returning Virginia to the failed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a backdoor tax added to power bills that does nothing to reduce greenhouse gasses.
• Seven positions cut from the Virginia Fusion Center, a key law enforcement tool for sharing intelligence among police agencies.
• Cutting $17 million from Virginia’s proven Ceasefire gun violence prevention program.
“House Republicans will continue to work with Governor Youngkin and the Democratic caucus to craft a budget that reflects the priorities and day to day realities of hard working Virginia families,” Gilbert concluded.