96th District, Virginia House of Delegates                                           February 2 , 2018

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Richmond Office 
New address!
Pocahontas Building
Room E403
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-698-1096
Fax: 804-786-6310
DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov
   
Legislative Aide
Amanda Batten
Amanda@brendapogge.com
Welcome to February! Today is Groundhog Day, and I can't help but note the similarities between the movie and the General Assembly session. Each weekday feels strangely identical: my colleagues and I arrive before the sun rises, we spend the day rushing between committee meetings, we cast votes on the House floor, and we depart after the sun sets. Many legislators were in committee meetings until nearly 10:00 p.m. last night, and my morning began today with a 6:00 a.m. meeting. Every day follows the same general pattern, yet each hour brings unique challenges. The House has already passed several significant pieces of legislation, and we look forward to continuing our work during the upcoming weeks.
Sexual harassment prevention training
Republican Delegate Roxann Robinson carried legislation this year requiring sexual harassment prevention training for all General Assembly employees. In light of recent news reports regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, House Bill 371 ensures that legislators and staff take this issue seriously. The extensive course will be administered by the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate. Delegates, Senators, and staff members of both bodies will be required to take the training courses upon election/hiring and again every two years thereafter. Republicans voted unanimously for the bill, while 10 Democrats voted against the legislation.
Tax increases defeated
Last week I mentioned three Democrat-sponsored bills to impose taxes on hotel stays, reinstate the "death tax," and implement a tax on streaming services (the Netflix tax). I am pleased to report that all three of these tax hikes were defeated. I believe Virginians need to keep more of their hard-earned money--not give it to the government in the form of increased taxes.
2018 legislative survey
Thank you to all who completed my session survey. I'm currently reviewing the results, and I'll publish them on my website as soon as they are compiled. Stay tuned!
HB1444: helping taxpayers save money
The federal tax reform law is shaping up to have a number of unintended (and yet unknown) consequences. While many taxpayers will pay lower federal taxes, they may end up paying more taxes to Virginia.

For example: Virginia law requires taxpayers who take the standard deduction on their IRS 1040 form to do the same on their Virginia return (i.e., if you take the standard federal deduction, you can NOT itemize on your state tax return). The recent federal tax reform legislation nearly doubled the standard federal deduction for married couples and for singles. Virginia's standard deduction, however, remains unchanged. As a result, while it makes sense for many Virginians to take the new standard federal deduction, it would not be financially beneficial for them to take the Virginia standard deduction. My legislation would eliminate the requirement for Virginians to take both the standard federal AND standard state deduction. Instead, taxpayers could choose to itemize on their Virginia return--even if they took the newly raised federal standard deduction.

Unfortunately, we do not yet know the full impact of the federal tax reform on Virginia. Legislators are working to determine how to best adjust Virginia law to complement the new federal requirements, but the analysis is not yet complete. For this reason, my bill was carried over to 2019, when it can again be considered. See below for a recent article on the issue.

Pogge's tax deduction bill put on hold, The Daily Press, February 1, 2018
Hope to see you soon!
Thank you to all who visited Richmond this week on behalf of the following organizations:
  • Insight Enterprises, Inc. (Peninsula Center for Independent Living)

  • McShin Foundation

  • Newport News Tourism

  • United Methodist Church
  • Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Virginia Coalition for Fine Arts Education
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance with any state-related matter or agency. I may be reached via email at DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 804-698-1096. 


Have a great weekend!
  Signature   
Delegate Brenda Pogge

 


Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate