Richmond - Former Executive Director of Virginians for Death Tax Repeal, Delegate Christopher K. Peace, R-Mechanicsville, announces the advancement of tax relief for thousands of family owned businesses and farms today with legislation to repeal Virginiaâ€™s estate tax in 2007. The 93-7 vote sends a message of the support this measure has generated this year. The bill Peace co-patroned (HB 40) will now be sent to the Senate of Virginia for their consideration.
The legislation would fully phase-out Virginiaâ€™s death tax which is now upwards of 16%. Currently, Virginia is among the minority of states that has not conformed its death tax laws to the federal repeal now underway. â€œThis unfair tax puts the Commonwealth at a competitive disadvantage. I thank those small businesses and family farmers who have made their voices heard at the legislature and made repeal of the death tax a priority,â€ said Del. Chris Peace. Full repeal was previously approved by the General Assembly in 2003, but was vetoed by then-Governor Mark Warner.
Prior to joining the Assembly, Peace led a group of over 60 members including the Farm Bureau, Virginia Agribusiness Coalition, the Virginia Auto Dealers Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses which helped the original Chief Patron, Del. Bob Tata during three prior years to see that this unfair tax be eliminated.
The NFIB saluted Peace during his campaign for his strong pro-business positions. "Chris Peace believes wholeheartedly in the role small business plays in his district and across Virginia," NFIB/Virginia State Director Gordon Dixon said. "Chris will represent small-business owners, their families and employees in his community exceptionally well in Richmond." Dixon said Peace's commitment to lower taxes and government accountability, among many proâ€“small-business positions, earned him NFIB's endorsement.
â€œThe Virginia Death Tax hinders job creation, stifles productivity, unfairly burdens farmers and women-owned businesses. It forces families to take out insurances policies just o pay the tax. It is wrong and I am so pleased to see that the House of Delegates agrees,â€ said Peace.
At the Federal level, Congress is working on a permanent repeal compromise. Their agreement would still leave Virginia out of conformity and leave Virginia small business owners and family farmers with the same Virginia tax liability if the state tax was not fully repealed. In fact, such a compromise might leave Virginia with a higher liability than the current federal burden.
Although Delegate Peace did not take office before the filing deadline and therefore is prevented from submitting legislation, he is however permitted by rule to Co-Patron legislation. Peace helped shepherd this important measure through his chamber.
â€œI am hitting the ground running and carrying my common sense conservative vision to the General Assembly. On my first day of session I carefully reviewed pending legislation and signed-on to help my fellow Delegates do not only what is in Virginiaâ€™s best interest but also what will help the 97th District. I will keep my promises to my neighbors in the 97th District to keep taxes low, to fight for better health care and to always work to assist constituents through the bureaucracy of government.â€ Peace has signed on to these notable items of legislation that will benefit the citizens of the 97th House District:
* HB 94, 1278 Restricting Eminent domain abuse by definition of public uses and defines that public uses shall not include taking of private property for tax revenue; * HB 262 Prohibition of illegal aliens for admission to public Higher Education institutions; * HB 570 Internet Filters on Public library computers to protect children from sexual predators; * HB 757, 758, 759 Medicaid Reform including the development of public-private long-term care partnership program; * HB 786 State income tax credit for purchase of long-term care insurance; * HB 846 â€œSafe Kids Initiativeâ€ which includes mandatory minimum term of confinement for sex crimes against children; * HB 1012 Sex Offender & Crimes Against Minors Registry; includes person who uses communication system; * HB 1104 Highway improvements; expands present revenue-sharing fund program; * HB 1150 Creating a Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Authority and Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Revolving Fund; * HB 1272 Establishes the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependants Education Program to expand the eligibility of the program to include spouses of military members killed and disabled. * HB 1521 Reconnecting Virginia through sensible growth reform that asks localities to include road and transportation improvements when preparing the comprehensive plan.
You may find links to these bills at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+mbr+H194S.
Delegate Peace was elected January 24, 2006 in a special election to represent the 97th District in the Virginia House of Delegates which includes portions of Caroline, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, King William, and Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.
Delegate Peace may be reached by phone at (804) 698-1097 and by email at DelCPeace@house.state.va.us. His Capitol office is Room 715 of the General Assembly Building which is found on the corner of 9th and Broad Streets in Richmond, Virginia.