Virginia to Repeal Death Tax

Courtesy of Virginians for Death Tax Repeal

RICHMOND – Today, the General Assembly endorsed tax relief for Virginia’s family farmers and small business owners by adopting legislation that calls for the full repeal of the state death tax effective July 1, 2007.

After a four year effort, led by a coalition of small business, agricultural, civic and anti-tax groups, the General Assembly this year developed consensus on full repeal of Virginia’s death tax, rejecting half-hearted measures that would have repealed the tax for only a limited number of families and businesses.

A bipartisan effort to repeal the death tax emerged during the regular session of the 2006 General Assembly, with leaders of the House, Senate and Governor Kaine advocating for repeal. Following extended budget negotiations during Special Session, an agreement was reached allowing for full repeal. Senator Tommy Norment (R-James City) and Delegate Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach) have been champions of repeal over the past four years and patroned originating repeal legislation this year. Senator John Chichester (R-Northumberland) and Delegate Vince Callahan (R-McLean), the legislature’s top budget writers, carried the compromise legislation that passed today (SB 5019 and HB 5019).

"Repealing Virginia's death tax shows our leaders understand certain taxes cross the line," NFIB/Virginia State Director Gordon Dixon said. "For too long, Virginia's death tax has been a double hit on small businesses, farmers and families. Small-business owners were proud to stand firm with a diverse coalition to ensure our elected officials would follow through on this important free-enterprise issue. NFIB applauds Governor Kaine, Senator Norment, Delegate Tata and other leaders for helping to ensure the Commonwealth preserves its reputation for job creation and investment in communities."

“The repeal of Virginia's estate tax has been a priority issue for the agribusiness community for a number of years,” said Donna Pugh Johnson, President, Virginia Agribusiness Council. “We applaud both the General Assembly and Governor Kaine for taking this positive step that will help to ensure the future existence and economic viability of farming operations and agribusinesses across the Commonwealth.”

“This is meaningful tax relief for family farmers and small business owners across Virginia,” said Stephen A. Horton, who has directed efforts to repeal the tax with Virginians for Death Tax Repeal. “It is a wise investment of Virginia’s surplus tax revenues.”

The legislation passed today fully repeals Virginia’s death tax effective July 1, 2007, resulting in approximately ¼ of a billion dollars in tax relief in future biennial budgets and representing the largest tax relief measure enacted by the General Assembly since 1998.

Today’s action by the General Assembly to repeal the death tax will help relieve the financial burden placed on Virginia’s farmers and small business owners, and will foster greater economic growth, investment and stability for these communities.

In a news release issued today, House Speaker William J. Howell said: “Today we have wisely gained an additional advantage in maintaining our “Best State for Business” ranking, which was recently bestowed upon Virginia by Repealing unfair taxes and improving our regulatory framework are precisely the kind of positive state tax and regulatory actions enacted over the past decade and more that enabled our Commonwealth to garner this latest accolade.”

Repeal will bring Virginia into conformity with federal estate tax law and in line with the more than 30 states that do not collect the onerous Death Tax in this manner.