Virginia reports $730 million in additional tax revenue from holiday sales

There is still hope for generous raises for teachers and other budget priorities in Virginia, now that the state has more money with which to work.

In a letter to the Virginia General Assembly, Gov. Ralph Northam said strong sales tax collections over the Christmas holiday season strengthened the state’s tax revenue, resulting in a $730.2 million windfall over what was initially forecast from Dec. 2020.

Legislators have been working on a new two-year budget amid an anticipated $1 billion shortfall because of the pandemic — a gap which the additional revenue is expected to help close.

Spending priorities could include a 5% pay raise for teachers instead of the scheduled 3% salary increase, and more funding for schools as they resume in-person teaching.

“These additional dollars help us get back to that historic budget and allow us to move forward with our shared priorities — providing Virginia families and businesses the relief they need to get back on their feet, supporting public schools, and giving our public workers a pay raise,” Northam said in a news release Monday.

Northam will meet with budget planners later this week to further discuss spending priorities.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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