Virginia’s fiscal year 2022 General Fund revenues finished with a $1.94 billion surplus, after finishing fiscal year 2021 with a $2.6 billion surplus, the largest in Virginia’s history.
“While I am pleased that our additional revenue can be reinvested in Virginia, the Commonwealth’s general fund revenue surplus confirms that Virginians have been overtaxed for way too long,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a Thursday evening announcement of the 2022 surplus.
According to preliminary data, total revenue collections are up 16.3 percent on a fiscal year-to-date basis.
“Payroll withholding and sales tax collections, 69 percent of total revenues, and the best indicator of current economic activity in the Commonwealth, finished $193.5 million or 1.0 percent ahead of the forecast,” Youngkin’s release states.
Youngkin said, “As inflation hits another 40-year high, I’m proud that our budget provides almost $4 billion in tax relief to Virginians, the largest tax relief in the Commonwealth’s history. We have a lot of work left to do to recover from the pandemic, but Virginia’s economy is demonstrating promising economic and company growth with major companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and LEGO moving their headquarters to Virginia.”
Youngkin’s statement comes about a week after CNBC reported that Virginia dropped to third in its yearly ranking of best states for business.
Throughout the recent legislative session the administration argued both for a need to cut taxes, based on high revenue, and argued that Virginia is lagging in jobs growth compared to other southern states. The latest announcement from Youngkin repeats that message, listing 79,818 new jobs since January and 124,878 more Virginians employed in May 2022 than May 2021.
“Although recent trends are encouraging, Virginia has yet to recover more than 133,000 jobs that were lost during the pandemic (now at 96.9 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 is now ranked 15th among the states in employment growth for the first four months of 2022,” the release states.
Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings said in the release, “Fiscal 2022 was an extraordinary year for revenues and finished strong. However, there are a number of critical economic issues that we will continue to watch very closely as we put our plan together for the future. We are encouraged by the continuing strength of payroll withholding and retail sales taxes, which increased by 9.5 percent, indicating that Virginia’s underlying economic foundation is strong.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin. Background Photo “Virginia State Capitol” by Doug Kerr. CC BY-SA 2.0.