Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Tuesday that Virginia’s May revenue reports are 9.9 percent higher than May 2021. That’s good news for the governor, who is imminently expected to release amendments to the budget already passed by the General Assembly. Legislators will return Friday to vote on Youngkin’s changes.
“This report confirms that the time is now to deliver meaningful tax cuts to Virginia families who are getting crushed by five-dollar gas and record-high inflation,” Youngkin said in a press release. “While Virginia was nearly last place in recovering from the pandemic, my administration remains laser-focused on job creation, and I’m so pleased we’re now in the top third among states for job growth this year, adding more than 60,000 jobs since the beginning of my administration. We still have much more work to do but I’m encouraged by our growing labor force, increasing wages, and the fundamental strength in Virginia’s economy.”
April revenue results were also strong compared to 2021, but in a presentation to legislators early in May, Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings warned that could be due to shifting tax due dates, and that May’s results might not be as strong.
In Youngkin’s Tuesday release, Cummings said both months needed to be considered together to have an accurate comparison.
“On a combined basis, April and May revenues in 2022 grew 27.3 percent versus the same period last year, reflecting better than expected final income tax payments and lower than expected individual income tax refunds. Growth in payroll withholding and sales tax collections also showed strong year-over-year gains for the month, indicative of continuing employment and wage growth in Virginia,” Cummings said.
In budget and policy discussions, Youngkin and Cummings have emphasized Virginia’s strong revenues to support their argument for tax cuts. At the same time, they have also warned that Virginia lags in certain metrics compared to other southern states, supporting the administration’s call for changes to policy despite national recognition of Virginia’s business-friendly environment before Youngkin took office.
The release also highlights 113,000 more Virginians employed in April 2022 than April 2021, but adds, “Although recent trends are encouraging, Virginia has yet to recover more than 151,000 jobs that were lost during the pandemic (now at 96.5 percent of pre-pandemic levels) while our key competitor states have all exceeded pre-pandemic employment levels. While the Commonwealth underperformed the nation in jobs recovered since the pandemic, ranking 47th overall, momentum is building and Virginia ranked 16th among the states in employment growth for the first four months of 2022.”
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