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Report: What the Tax Cut Deal Means for Virginia

December 15, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. - The big tax deal now being debated in Washington D.C. would have a mostly positive impact on Virginia, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis. State lawmakers will likely have to make some adjustments to the state tax structure to make it an even better deal for the state, however, says the group's president and CEO, Michael Cassidy.

The report suggests that all working Virginians will benefit in some way by extending the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax reduction, both of which translate to lower taxes, says Cassidy.

"About 135,000 Virginia families will benefit from the improved federal earned income tax credit, and over 53,000 families in our state will benefit from the improvements to the child care tax credit."

He cites other parts of the deal that could be a negative for the state budget, such as business deductions for equipment. The state already allows for this, he explains, and if state legislators do not remove it from the state tax plan, it will amount to a "double dip" for businesses that would cost the Commonwealth about $372 million in lost revenue over the next two years.

The package also benefits jobless workers, as it allows for a 13-month extension of emergency unemployment benefits. This, too, would be good Virginia, says Cassidy.

"This will allow over 23,000 Virginians, who will lose those benefits by the end of the year, to continue to access this key lifeline as they search for work."

In his view, providing unemployment benefits is one of the single most effective ways to stimulate economic growth.

The full report, entitled, "Deal or no Deal? What Key provisions of the President's Tax Deal Mean for Virginia," is online at www.thecommonwealthinstitute.org.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA