4 Reasons Governor Youngkin’s Tax Plan Sucks For Regular People and 1 Thing We Can Do To Fix It 

by Ashleigh Crocker

Our lame-duck Governor, Glenn Youngkin, wants one more chance to help his super-wealthy friends by completely readjusting the tax code in Virginia. The only problem? It completely sucks for people who make normal amounts of money and aren’t super wealthy like the Governor and all his pals. Here are four reasons why his tax plan sucks and one thing we can do to fix it. 

  1. With this new tax plan, people with lower incomes will continue to pay more than people with higher incomes. 

It would make sense for people who make less money to pay less of their income in taxes. After all, they have less to go around and are focused on things like keeping a roof over their head and food on their table.  But with Governor Youngkin’s tax plan, the people who make up the bottom 20% of income end up paying 8.7% of their income in taxes. But people in the top 1% of income earners will pay just 7.2% of their income on taxes. I guess they’ve gotta get that extra 1.5% savings so they can buy a super yacht or a luxury horse farm, like someone we know. 

^^Mega-rich people, probably, with all those tax savings. 

  1. Lowering the income tax rate costs 3.6 billion. 

The signature piece of Governor Youngkin’s tax plan is lowering the income tax. This alone would cost $3.6 billion, yes billion, with a B. That’s money that could be going to building schools and paying teachers for our kids, affordable housing for people who need it the most, and childcare subsidies so that working families can know their kids are safe while they are at work. We cannot afford this tax cut, especially when you consider my next point. 

  1. Governor Youngkin’s tax plan massively benefits the wealthiest among us—at the expense of everyone else.  

That 3.6 billion dollar cost? ⅔ of it will go to households in the top 20% of the income bracket. And the top 1%? People like Glenn Youngkin? They’ll get a tax cut of an average of $10,625. Meanwhile, people who make a normal amount of money and are in the bottom 60% will see just 15% of that tax cut. Families in the bottom 20% will see a tax cut of just $25. I don’t know about you, but $25 over a whole year does not make a difference to me or my family. I can’t even take my kids out for ice cream for that much these days.

If your eyes just glazed over at all those numbers, think of it this way. An executive who might be friends with Governor Youngkin and makes $2 million a year would get a tax cut of $12,853. But a teacher who makes $54,180 a year would see a tax cut of just $206—probably less than she spends on supplies for her classroom each year. That megarich, friend of the Governor’s tax cut is 62 times bigger than the teacher’s. 

That’s messed up. 

  1. Governor Youngkin’s tax plan increases the sales tax by almost a full percentage point. 

Virginia has to have a balanced budget, so to get there after giving a massive hand out to his buddies, Governor Youngkin is proposing an increase in the sales tax. His plan would take it from the current 4.3% to 5.2%, a .9% increase. The thing about sales taxes is that they disproportionately affect people with lower incomes. Because when you are mega-rich, you are more likely to park your money in an investment account, which is not impacted by the sales tax. 

But people with lower incomes have to spend the money they have on clothes, shoes, food, and other basic necessities. So not only are they not benefitting as much from the lower income tax as we talked about above, but they are also spending more of their money on sales tax. Families in the bottom 20% would see the percent of their income spent on sales taxes increase by .4%, which is not nothing when every dollar you have makes a big difference. 

^^Working families if this tax plan goes through. 

So, what can we do to stop this absolute nonsense? The first thing you can do is call your legislators and tell them to vote against Governor Youngkin’s budget. Instead, ask them to support the Fair Share Tax, HB865. The Fair Share Tax creates a new top tax bracket of 10% for people making over $1,000,000 a year. That’s just the top .4% percent of income earners, so 99.6% of people would not see a tax increase at all. This small increase on a tiny amount of people would raise over a billion dollars in revenue that would then be spent on public schools, child care, and affordable housing. That seems way better than a giveaway to people who don’t even need a tax cut in the first place. 

Join me in urging our legislators to support the Fair Share Tax so we can all live in a place with great schools, affordable housing, and high quality health care. 

Thanks to our friends at The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis for breaking down these numbers in a way we can all understand.

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