Gov. Northam’s last budget proposal includes tax relief, pay raises

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, welcomes Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, right, and Lt....
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, welcomes Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, right, and Lt. Gov.-elect Winsome Sears, not in photo, as he arrives to deliver his annual budget forecast to a joint session of the House and Senate budget committees at the Capitol Thursday Dec 16, 2021, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(Steve Helber | AP)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 8:37 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:02 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT/AP) - Outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing a $158 billion two-year state budget that would boost the state’s reserves, give teachers and other state workers pay raises, and institute a variety of tax cuts.

Many of the proposals were revealed during the Democrat’s ‘Thank You, Virginia’ Tour.

For tax policy, Northam is proposing to eliminate the 1.5% state grocery tax. Currently, Virginians pay 2.5% tax with 1% going towards local government. The proposal would not eliminate the tax entirely but would cut expenses going towards the general fund.

In addition, Northam also wants to provide a tax break through the federal earned income tax credit.

As for increased pay, the governor proposed increasing pay for Virginia State Troopers, correctional officers, deputy sheriffs and regional jail officers. His plan also includes a 5 percent raise for teachers.

While Northam will leave office in January, his proposal for fiscal years 2022-2024 could serve as a starting point for negotiations at the General Assembly, which will be under split party control come January.

But there’s virtually no chance the version lawmakers will send to Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin will hew exactly to what Northam is putting in.

The spending blueprint Northam outlined to lawmakers Thursday is possible thanks to record revenue growth that’s projected to continue growing.

Read the governor’s full remarks on the budget proposal here.

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