Craig from Richmond, Virginia via Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing tax cuts he says will benefit working-class Virginians, especially those who’ve struggled financially during the pandemic.

Northam’s plan, announced Tuesday, would eliminate Virginia’s controversial grocery tax, provide a one-time rebate to everyone who files state income taxes ($250 for individuals and $500 per married couple) and provide a tax break to Virginians who are out of work.

As WTOP reports:

“Virginia has been named the best state for business for three years running and we have a remarkably strong economy, but not everyone is benefiting equally,” Del. Lamont Bagby, chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, said in the news release. “This tax plan focuses on Virginians who need help and who have largely not benefited from our strong economy. This is the right way to help working people and provide equity in our tax policy.”

In an emailed statement, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s transition aide, Macaulay Porter, said: “Governor-elect Youngkin campaigned on reducing the cost of living, fully funding our law enforcement personnel, raising teacher pay, increasing HBCU funding, expanding broadband access, and eliminating the grocery tax for all Virginians as part of his Day One game plan, Virginians throughout the Commonwealth overwhelmingly embraced those ideals. Governor Northam’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction but does not entirely fulfill Virginians’ mandate.

We appreciate the Northam administration laying the foundation for these elements of the Day One game plan so that Governor-Elect Youngkin can hit the ground running on January 15th to begin executing on his key campaign promises and finish the job.”

In a separate statement, Speaker-designee Todd Gilbert said: “Now we know what it takes to get Virginia Democrats to propose cutting taxes — losing to a Republican.”