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Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 04/15/2010

$474 in Va. taxes? That would be nice

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Lawrence Karch
Oak Hill

David S. North’s April 11 Local Opinions commentary, “Why do I pay only $474 in Virginia income tax?,” painted an unrealistic picture based on his unique circumstances.

Based on a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of $92,000, Mr. North says that he paid only $474 and that therefore Virginia’s income tax is unfair because older Virginians pay too little. Well, maybe.

My wife and I had federal AGI in 2009 that was about 1.9 times the $92,000 that Mr. North cited, but we paid Virginia about 14.6 times as much in income tax as did Mr. North. Moreover, both my wife and I collect Social Security, so we are definitely older Virginians and we definitely don’t feel that we’re not paying Virginia enough.

What Mr. North did not mention is that Virginia’s $12,000 per person “age deduction” is now income-based for filers of certain ages. This change occurred a few years ago. Joint filers older than 65 now have $1 of this deduction reduced for every $1 that their “adjusted federal adjusted gross income” (their federal AGI minus any taxable Social Security benefits, among other adjustments) exceeds $75,000.

Those who, like Mr. North, were born before Jan. 2, 1939, are grandfathered in to the former system and can still deduct the full amount. But this exemption from the income test will affect fewer taxpayers as time goes by.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | April 15, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, taxes  | Tags:  David S. North, Lawrence Karch, Virginia age exemption, Virginia taxes  
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Comments

I would guess that Mr. North was saying that many were not paying a fair amount. So you paid 3.95 percent in state taxes, are you complaining that you paid too much ? Seems like Mr North had a valid point to make. Mr. Karch not so much.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | April 16, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

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