Va. legislation allows for increase in Crime Stoppers rewards

RICHMOND, Va. - The incentive to report tips on crimes in Virginia has gone up.

A bill approved by the Virginia legislature increases the maximum amount that Crime Stoppers/Solvers programs can pay in reward money from $1,000 to $5,000.

The bill was signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam on March 18, 2020.

"This legislation will offer more incentive for those with important information to come forward," Speaker Kirk Cox (R - Colonial Heights) said in a news release when first introducing the bill, “From car break ins to the most violent crimes, this legislation will allow law enforcement to close more cases and get those who wish to victimize Virginians off the streets.”

Previously, rewards were capped at $1,000 because that was the maximum allowed by state law without the tipster having to pay taxes on the reward, protecting their identity.

Programs are not obligated to pay out the increased amount, but it gives them the option to increase the reward money they offer.

Crime Stoppers/Solvers programs do not use any taxpayer money to pay out rewards. They rely entirely on private donations and fundraisers.

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