• 68°

First Responders Day

Virginia House Joint Resolution 646 was introduced during the 2019 General Assembly session, naming Sept. 11 as First Responders Day in Virginia.

Public safety agencies, associations and organizations that work with first responders were encouraged to observe the day of remembrance with community activities and events.

This year, with the help of area businesses in the 59th district, I sponsored free ice cream cones for all first responders in the area as a small thank you for all they do to keep our commonwealth safe.

Participating businesses were, Dairy Queen in Appomattox County, the Dillwyn Dairy Freez in Buckingham County, and the Colleen Drive In in Nelson County. In Campbell County, I Scream You Scream in Lynchburg, The Lunch Box in Rustburg and the Dairy Freeze in Altavista are participating as well. For more information you can check with these local businesses, my social media pages or contact my office.

Our House Republican Majority worked day and night during the regular session to not only stop Democrats from hiking taxes by more than $1 billion but also establish a Taxpayer Relief Fund that will see any windfall from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act returned to the taxpayers.

Individuals who filed a tax return should see a refund check of up to $110, while couples should see $220. Rebates will not be for more than the amount of taxes paid. A taxpayer who paid in a total of $50 in state income taxes would get a rebate of $50. 

Taxpayers must also be up-to-date on their taxes, i.e., not owe back taxes to the commonwealth or any locality. If they do, rebates will be applied to those debts first.

Refunds should begin the week of September 15.

Democrats wanted to raise taxes by more than $1 billion. With common-sense, conservative budgeting we were able to not only fund priorities like a 5 percent raise for teachers, but also freeze college tuition for the first time in 20 years.

The contrast couldn’t be clearer. At a time when Democrats were dead set against cutting taxes, Republicans managed to do just that — all while investing in our priorities and ensuring that the Commonwealth has a healthy $1.6 billion reserve fund set aside for any economic contingency.

Fiscally-prudent management has been the hallmark of Republican leadership over the past two decades, and when we return in 2020 with an even larger House majority it will continue to do so.

The same prudence that allowed us to cut taxes and fund a raise for our teachers will allow us to raise teacher pay to the national average over the next four years without raising taxes as well.

Del. C. Matthew Fariss represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov.