We are rapidly moving through the 2019 short session. One of the main sticking points is disagreement over how to use the budget surplus. The parties are in a stalemate over routine tax conformity questions and larger policy issues.
Every year, one of the first pieces of legislation to pass is a tax conformity bill that brings our definitions in line with the federal government as it relates to taxes. Unless we pass legislation soon, Virginians may need to delay the filing of their tax returns. Of course, the federal government is shut down, so we do not know when tax returns can get processed or refunds issued. If we don’t conform to federal policy, we will make the process of filing state returns nearly impossible and drive up the cost of doing so. Therefore, I join with many of my colleagues to urge conformity as soon as possible. The Virginia Association of Certified Public Accountants put together a helpful frequently asked questions about this matter.
Much attention has been paid in recent years to the way districts are drawn in Virginia. Many, including me, blame many of the problems in government to the polarization that partisan redistricting produces. This is the primary reason I have pushed redistricting reform for many years. The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee had three distinct approaches to consider this year. [Read more…]