Congresswoman Elaine Luria Introduces Virginia Beach Strong Act

September 27, 2019
Press Release
Bill Would Ensure Donations to Families of Virginia Beach Mass Shooting Victims Are Tax-Deductible

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today introduced the Virginia Beach Strong Act. This bipartisan bill would help ensure that donations to families of victims of the May 31 Virginia Beach mass shooting are tax-deductible.

“On May 31st, our Virginia Beach community experienced an unspeakable tragedy that led to the loss of 12 wonderful people,” Congresswoman Luria said. “In the wake of our community’s darkest day, we saw countless selfless people donate to provide relief for grieving families. I am introducing the Virginia Beach Strong Act to make it easier to help bring more urgently-needed support to grieving families.”

In the immediate aftermath of the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach, the City of Virginia Beach worked to establish a fund to help victims, survivors, and their families. Because of a technicality in the definition of charitable beneficiaries in the tax code, donations to the fund will likely not be considered tax-deductible unless Congress acts. For more information on the city’s efforts, please click here.

The Virginia Beach Strong Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill, would apply to donations to immediate family members of victims of the Virginia Beach shooting.

A Senate companion bill was introduced by Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

“There is nothing we can do to undo this tragedy or bring back the individuals we lost in this senseless act of violence, but we can try to make it as easy as possible for families and those injured to get the relief they need,” the Senators said. “This legislation will further incentivize donations to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund by making sure that contributions to victims and families are permitted to be treated as charitable contributions.”

An active voice in working to stop preventable gun violence, Congresswoman Luria remembered the May 31 Virginia Beach shooting victims on the House floor, passed a law naming a post office after Keith Cox, and secured IRS guidance that confirmed donations received by Virginia Beach victims and their families are not considered taxable income.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.