Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin responded to recent accusations from Democrats that he is attempting to buy votes by sending out tax rebates ahead of the 2023 statewide elections.
“Had [Democrats] not delayed the budget for seven months, then the tax checks would have gone out a long time ago,” Youngkin told The Spectator during a press gaggle at Piney Branch Elementary School. The governor dropped by multiple polling locations on Tuesday to speak to election volunteers and voters.
NBC News reported last week that “the state of Virginia is sending out tax rebate checks to qualified residents, just days before the state’s 2023 General Assembly elections.” The $200 checks for individuals and $400 checks for married couples were reportedly mailed to homes with a note crediting Governor Youngkin and the Virginia General Assembly for authorizing the tax rebates as part of the state’s annual budget.
Virginia House Democratic leader Don Scott suggested the timing of the checks being mailed out was suspicious.
“Am I supposed to be surprised that these checks are coming out the week before the election?” he told NBC News. “Virginians won’t be fooled by this, just like they were not fooled when Donald Trump sent out checks before his losing election.”
Youngkin signed the budget into law on September 14 and checks and direct deposits started going out to taxpayers the following month. A local NBC affiliate noted that disagreements between Virginia Republicans and Democrats over tax reductions delayed a budget agreement by six months, with the one-time rebates being part of the compromise that led to the budget’s passage in September.
“They literally delayed the signing of a budget for their own political gain and then turn around and are concerned that tax relief is going out to Virginians,” Youngkin explained. “Well, it’s Virginians’ money and it would have gone down a lot earlier had [Democrats] not purposely delayed the signing of a budget — which could have been done last April if they had done their jobs.”
“I hope Virginians recognize that the Senate that’s been controlled by Democrats has truly been working against things like job growth, things like tax relief, like excellence in education and safe communities,” he continued. “What the other side stands for, honestly, is simply chaos.”
Boosting the economy and fighting inflation has been a key part of Youngkin’s pitch for state Republican candidates as voters head to the polls on Tuesday. The Virginia races are being watched closely as a potential bellwether election for the 2024 national elections.