Youngkin proposes tax cuts, new spending in Virginia governor's race

Youngkin proposes tax cuts, new spending in Virginia governor's race
© Greg Nash

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin (R) announced what he is calling his "Day One Gameplan" on Monday, which includes tax cuts and new spending plans.

Youngkin's plan focuses on job growth, excellence in education, community safety, cutting costs and making the state government work for Virginians.

The Republican formally rolled out the plan in the northern Virginia city of Fairfax, urging voters to "choose a coarse correction now" on policies in the Old Dominion. 

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"In a few short years, Virginia has become California East. It happened quickly," Youngkin told a crowd of supporters, referring to the state's Democratic control. "Our economy has stalled. We've been overburdened by taxes and regulations. Crime is on the rise. We have a failed mental health system that is such a crisis we must address now. Our schools are underperforming because our leaders lowered standards and put politics in the classroom. The cost of living has skyrocketed. Our government is detached and broken."

Youngkin's proposed one-time tax cuts would amount to $1.8 billion, while the recurring tax cuts would total $1.4 billion per year. The GOP nominee will propose eliminating the state's grocery tax, suspending the state's gas tax hike for a year, and providing a one-time $600 tax rebate for joint tax filers and $300 for individuals, which will come from the state's $1.5 billion surplus.

Additionally, Youngkin's campaign said he would propose to put an end to rising property taxes by mandating voter approval for any increases. Youngkin would also propose to cut income taxes by doubling the standard deduction, which his campaign said would respectively save individuals and families $259 and $518 a year. Youngkin will also propose to cut taxes on the first $40,000 of veteran retirement pay.

On education, Youngkin will propose opening 20 new charter schools in the state, at an estimated cost of $100 million. Youngkin will also propose spending $100 million annually to give raises to teachers. On top of that, he will call to keep schools open safely for five days a week and ban critical race theory in the classroom.

In terms of community safety, Youngkin has proposed spending more than $200 million over the next two years to provide Virginia's law enforcement with more financial support.

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Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe's campaign on Monday called Youngkin's plan "Trumpian."

"Glenn has no clue how to invest in Virginia's economy, given he made hundreds of millions of dollars at the expense of working families — shipping American jobs overseas and raising rents on seniors," said McAuliffe spokesperson Christina Freundlich. "Terry McAuliffe wasted no time in sharing with Virginians his nearly 20 comprehensive plans to invest in public education, make health care more affordable, and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs. Unlike Glenn, Virginians can trust Terry to deliver, just as he did as governor before."

Many of Youngkin's proposals would have to be approved by Virginia's House of Delegates. Republicans and Democrats are battling over control of the chamber, which Democrats control with a 55 to 45 majority.

Youngkin's campaign said he is already reaching out to voters across the political spectrum and is prepared to work with Democratic lawmakers.

The announcement comes as polls show McAuliffe leading Youngkin. A Christopher Newport University poll released on Thursday showed McAuliffe with 50 percent support from likely registered voters, while Youngkin trailed at 41 percent. Additionally, a Roanoke College poll released last week showed McAuliffe with an 8-point lead over Youngkin, while a Virginia Commonwealth University poll released last week showed McAuliffe with a 3-point lead.

Updated at 2:30 p.m.