September 22, 2021
New Coalition Aims to Raise State Resources to Invest in Schools, Health Care, the Environment, and More
Richmond, VA – A diverse coalition of organizations committed to making sure that Virginia has the resources to fully invest in education, health care, and more have joined together to form the Tax Fairness for Virginia coalition. Spearheaded by The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis and New Virginia Majority, this new coalition will advocate for much-needed reforms to how Virginia raises revenue, such as flipping Virginia’s upside-down tax system and closing corporate tax loopholes. Virginia’s current system heavily favors very wealthy individuals and corporations, while limiting the state government’s ability to invest in our schools, our health care, our environment, and our communities.
“When we invest in the building blocks of our communities, we can all thrive — no matter where we live or what we look like. But Virginia’s tax code is completely upside down,” said Rodrigo Soto, Revenue Campaign Manager at The Commonwealth Institute. “Those with less pay a greater share of their incomes in taxes, and powerful special interests manipulate the tax code to get out of what they owe, pulling resources out of our communities. By making sure that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share, state lawmakers could raise the necessary resources to invest in our communities and that benefits all of us.”
When we invest in the building blocks of our communities, we can all thrive — no matter where we live or what we look like.Rodrigo Soto, Revenue Campaign Manager
Currently in Virginia, families with the lowest incomes pay nearly 10% of their incomes in state and local taxes while those in the top 1% pay just 7.1%. And the current state tax code allows large, multi-state corporations to use accounting maneuvers and loopholes to reduce their state income tax liability by shifting profits to other states. Corporations also have access to various federal and state tax breaks that reduce their tax bills, sometimes to zero.
“For far too long, purposeful policy decisions have limited our ability to invest in programs and services that lift all of us up. These restrictions, coupled with a public health and economic crisis, have overwhelmingly harmed Black and brown families in Virginia and further entrenched barriers to economic opportunity,” said Kenneth Gilliam, policy director for New Virginia Majority. “It’s time for us to come together and insist on a different choice. Recent, temporary federal aid and actions by the General Assembly can serve as a springboard to a brighter future-yet we need to fix our upside-down tax code in order to sustain transformative, long-term investments in all of our communities.”
For far too long, purposeful policy decisions have limited our ability to invest in programs and services that lift all of us up… It’s time for us to come together and insist on a different choice.Kenneth Gilliam, policy director for New Virginia Majority