Bill to exempt VB mass shooting victims, families from taxes on relief payments passes in Senate

Richmond
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RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A bill that would exempt victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting from having to pay taxes on relief payments has passed the Virginia Senate.

Sen. Bill DeSteph, (R-Virginia Beach), tweeted Wednesday announcing the passage of the Senate Bill 93.

It will now move on to the Virginia House of Delegates.

The bill specifically would establish an income tax exemption for relief payments paid to one of the mass shooting victims, or their parent, guardian, child or spouse.

The bill also would make an exemption from probate tax for a person killed or injured in the shooting. Probate tax is “imposed on the probate of most wills and grants of administration, and applies to property in Virginia. No tax is imposed on estates valued at $15,000 or less,” according to the Virginia Department of Taxation.

If the tax was already paid, the state or locality will refund it, according to the proposed bill.

The bill is not the first piece of legislation attempting to ease the burden for some victims of the mass shooting and their families.

In December, President Donald Trump signed into law the Virginia Beach Strong Act, or House Resolution 4566, which ensures donations to the shooting victims’ families are tax-deductible.

Before the law, a “technicality” of the definition for charitable donations in the tax code meant many donations to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund were likely not tax-exempt.

The federal bill was sponsored by Rep. Elaine Luria.

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