VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — While there won’t be a sales tax holiday in Virginia this coming weekend as there has been for the last several years, a top negotiator on the state budget said he’s holding out hope one could still occur, eventually.
Del. Barry Knight, (R-Virginia Beach) said in an interview that if he can come to an agreement with Senate Democrats, he would look to have the sales tax holiday later in the year.
The three-day event that took place the first weekend in August for more than a decade had become quite popular. It allowed shoppers to buy school supplies, clothing, shoes, hurricane supplies and Energy Star/WaterSense products without paying sales tax, often saving six cents on every dollar in Hampton Roads.
Knight previously said its discontinuation was only because nobody put in legislation to extend the holiday past its 2021 expiration date.
It was included in last year’s budget deal and Knight is now signaling that could happen again.
Amendments to Virginia’s two-year budget are now more than five-months late as negotiations have stalled between the Republican-controlled House of Delegates and the Democrat-controlled State Senate.
Knight, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, is leading negotiations for the House and two weeks ago sent another proposal to the Senate conferees who thus far have opposed tax cuts proposed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
“I’m very optimistic they will accept it. If they do accept it and we do get a budget, we will put the state tax holiday in there,” Knight said. “It may be real close at the start of the school year, or maybe a week or two after it, but we’d still like for the parents and students to take advantage of it.”
So far there has been no movement on the side of the Democrats.
Knight said what really needs to happen is a new bill introduced next session codifying the sales tax holiday. He said it was supposed to happen this year.
“It was supposed to go through House Finance, which I am House Appropriations or Senate finance. Nobody put legislation last year and we had to fix it in the budget,” Knight said. “Nobody put in legislation this year. So somebody dropped the ball. Not my committee, because I’m not in charge of it for my committee, but yes we are working forward on a budget.”