General Assembly passes tax relief package

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia General Assembly has approved legislation that will provide almost $1 billion in tax relief to taxpayers in the Commonwealth.

According to a release, the legislation will provide $420 million to taxpayers later this year in the form of rebates of $110 for individual filers and $220 for married couples in October.

The bill will also raise the standard deduction by 50 percent beginning in tax year 2019, which is the first such change for individual filers since 1989.

The release says it will guarantee at least $976 million in tax relief and ensure all additional revenues from the permanent provisions of federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are placed in the Commonwealth's cash reserve fund.

Finally, the bill conforms Virginia tax law to federal law, which means Virginians will be able to file their state taxes without complications in May.

The bill, HB 2529, was approved in the House by a 95-4 vote and in the Senate by a 35-5 vote.

A companion bill in the Senate, SB 1372, passed the House 95-4 and passed the Senate 38-2.

The release says more than four million taxpayers will benefit under the legislation.

Filers who earn less than $50,000 will get 40 percent of all rebate checks, while those who make $100,000 or less will get more than 70 percent of all rebate checks.

Married couples will get an average of $392 in tax relief over the next two years.

The release says these identical bills were approved as “emergency” legislation, which means their provisions will become effective as soon as the bills are signed by Governor Ralph Northam.

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