April 18, 2019


Frank M. Ruff, Jr.  

15th District

Senate of Virginia 


      By the time you read this column, you will have settled up on your tax liability to the federal government and maybe to Virginia also. It is never fun. We all do them with fear that we may have missed a deduction that we should have taken but could not remember where the receipt might have been misplaced.
      This year, however, was easier because the increase of the personal deduction allowed many to not worry so much about this expense or that. This is because of the tax cut that President Trump pushed through Congress despite some objections of some made changes on how and what was taxed. Interestingly, some have tried to accuse the President of raising their taxes while "big companies" are not paying any taxes.  
     I was in a store this week and that was exactly what one gentleman said. He stated that he had to write a check for more than he ever had. When I mentioned that maybe he ought to check his pay stub and see how much less federal taxes had been taken out during the year, he explained that he did not get a pay check; that he was on two pensions. (He was an employee at the store in which I saw him.) I quickly realized there was no reason to continue a conversation if he was not going to be honest, therefore, I left.
     This conversation reminded me that many do not understand what they earn either from pay or pensions. They simply ignore the subtractions from their check and focus on the net pay after taxes.

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      This spring, I have had people make similar comments about having to pay taxes that they never had to before. They reason that their taxes must have gone up. If they would simply review what was taken out in taxes this year versus last year, they would clearly see they are paying less in taxes. Several years ago, I suggested we could easily get people's attention by simply paying them their full salary and then make them write checks directly back to the government. Then they would appreciate how much the federal government is getting from workers.
     This year in Richmond, Governor Northam thought he could slip a fast one on the tax payers by promising to spend tax money on various popular programs. His proposal was to divert tax dollars to Virginia government from changes in last year's federal tax cut. This would have fattened state government by almost $1 billion. We stopped him by redirecting that money to the tax payers of Virginia. Partly with checks later this fall, and next year by doubling the personal exemption on your tax return. 

     Another misunderstanding is that elected officials can create jobs. Some think that we hold jobs in our pockets and can pull them out when we want. I assure you that that is not the fact. The only thing that we can do is assist the localities we represent by aiding them in any way we can. That can come in many forms. However, first a company must find the community attractive to their business. As with Microsoft in Mecklenburg, the county asked for me to just be there, and I was able to have Governor McDonnell join me. Sometimes, such as with the Tobacco Commission, we are able to aid with infrastructure needs such as extensions of water or sewer lines.
     Again, however, first there must be a company that sees a value in choosing one site over another. Anyone who tells you differently is not being honest with you.

     One of the traditions in Clarksville for many years is several churches of different denominations walk down the street in unity on Palm Sunday from the Fine Arts Center then split and go to their various churches. This year, for the first time in twenty years, we did not. My hope is that we will resume the walk next year. That walk is as much of the Easter celebration as the Easter service itself. It is events such as these that have helped Jessie and I instill faith in our children.

Wishing all a peace filled Easter

     We love to hear from you!  You can reach us at Sen.Ruff@verizon.net, 434-374-5129, or P. O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA  23927.

Jesters Cap  

When Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, the police officer told the detective in charge, "So far, we have a rhyme, but no reason." 


    Warmest regards,    


Frank M. Ruff, Jr. 

15th District

Senate of Virginia


Authorized and paid for by Ruff for Senate