This is a part of TCI’s “Collective Agenda for Virginia’s Future.” Click here to start at the beginning.
We dream of a Virginia with
A Fair Tax Code & Ample Resources
When we all pitch in our fair share of taxes, we can fully fund education, health care, and other programs that help everyone thrive, no exceptions. While special interests and those at the top have rigged the rules to get out of paying what they owe, together, we can flip Virginia’s upside-down tax code and raise the shared resources we need to achieve our shared goals.
Together, we can…
Make Sure Everyone Pitches in Their Fair Share
To fund our collective goals, we need to raise state resources that last long into the future in ways that lift up rather than burden our low-income neighbors while ensuring the wealthiest among us pay their fair share.
Virginia has the capacity to fund our priorities, but our upside-down tax code — in which the wealthiest pay the least taxes as a share of income— limits our resources. In order to fund meaningful investments in economic security, education, health care, and more, there needs to be increased and sustainable revenue streams. And they should be set up in a way that also makes our tax code more fair.
In recent years, lawmakers have voted to make significant and lasting tax cuts, claiming a revenue ‘surplus’ despite underfunding critical services. Despite making cuts, lawmakers have not sought to establish new revenue streams, permanently decreasing available resources.
After a decade in the private sector and a decade in public education — 20 years of work — I have not achieved a salary of $50,000. To add insult to injury, as a teacher, percentage wise, I was paying more in taxes than millionaires in Virginia! How can public education be, maintain, and sustain competitive earnings to attract and retain the necessary talent to prepare students if the package is financially deficient and demoralizing? Creating a new tax bracket will ensure everyone pays their fair share, while providing much needed increases in funding for education and housing.Katina M., M.Ed., M.S. | Black HOPE VA | Hopewell
What Can We Do?
Lawmakers can create a sustainable revenue source to fund our collective goals, while ensuring the wealthiest among us pay their fair share, by establishing a new income tax bracket on high incomes. In a report on a more fair income tax structure from fall 2022, the legislature’s independent research group (JLARC) laid out several options that would raise revenues, including establishing a new tax bracket on income over $1 million.
Advance Commonsense Policies
- Establish a new top state income tax bracket of 10%, but only for annual income over $1 million. This would not include the value of held assets like someone’s house or car. If you had $1,000,001 in taxable income, only $1 would be taxed at a higher rate.
- This would generate over $1 billion annually in state revenue, which could be earmarked for important goals such as increased education funding.