Glenn Youngkin’s Policies on Real Estate, Taxes and the Environment – Business Observer

Glenn Youngkin becomes governor of Virginia on Saturday, replacing the outgoing Ralph Northam, and upending an eight-year run of Democratic leadership.

Youngkin is a political newcomer, who spent more than two decades at the Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group. Youngkin joined the firm in the 1990s, eventually becoming co-CEO in 2018, where he oversaw the group’s activities in real estate, energy, infrastructure and investment solutions.

Youngkin campaigned on his business track record, promising to lower taxes from day one, reduce regulation and increase jobs. He also emphasized the burning issues currently energizing Republicans, including opposition to COVID-19 restrictions and the supposed teaching of critical race theory in schools, a nationwide dispute that has erupted particularly in Virginia.

Despite Youngkin’s background in finance and real estate, the new governor has not offered a clear plan on most issues that directly affect real estate. In fact, he has clearly taken a hands-off approach to affordable housing.

“It depends on the local authorities,” he said. noted during a debate with the Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, when asked about affordable housing. He then quickly returned to a more general campaign talking point, saying: “I think the biggest challenge we have when it comes to affordable housing is the mound of regulations imposed on businesses over the last eight years. “

Youngkin will inherit a record budget surplus of $2.6 billion, an enviable starting point. But with Democrats retaining a 21-19 majority in the Virginia Senate, he won’t have a free hand to pass his agenda, which includes expanding charter schools, increasing law enforcement and key tax initiatives.

Youngkin promised to cut property taxes, double the standard income tax deduction, offer a one-time tax refund and eliminate a gas and grocery tax, which funds education and K-12 transportation.

Critics fear the tax cuts will also mean cuts in services, but here he could also see opposition from Republicans.

“If we think we can do it, if the numbers are tight, we’re absolutely going to look into it,” Republican Del said. barry knight, who is expected to chair the Virginia House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state budget, Recount The Washington Post in November 2021. But, he said, lawmakers would only pass the tax cuts if it could be done “without cutting services.”

Youngkin also clarified his priorities on the environment by promising to withdraw from an 11-state regional carbon market by executive order and naming a highly controversial pick to oversee the state’s natural resources.

Youngkin named the former coal lobbyist and Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler at office. Wheeler is reviled by Democrats after his stint as president donald trumpThe EPA chief, given his record of gutting existing protections during his tenure, including the Obama-era Coal Ash Rule and key provisions of the Environmental Protection Act ‘water. Wheeler will need to be confirmed by the Senate before taking on the role.

As for Youngkin’s personal assets, he successfully lobbied to have his 30-acre horse farm designated as a conservation site, reducing his property taxes by 95%.

Chava Gourarie can be reached at [email protected].

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