CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – It’s a race to the finish line at the State Capitol for three plans to eliminate the West Virginia personal income tax. The latest plan is from the Senate. It would phase out the tax over four years. It raises the sales tax from 6 percent to 8-point-5, and taxes services such as advertising and lawyers.
“The Senate bill strikes a medium point between the House responsibilities, what they’re wanting to do, and what the governor has presented to us,” said State Sen. Rollan Roberts, (R) Raleigh.
The Governor’s plan is also to eliminate the income tax over four years, but raises the sales tax less than the Senate – to just 7-point-9 percent. It would also provide tax rebate checks to low income workers. Many lawmakers like dumping the income tax, but are a bit cautious about the rest of the governor’s plan.
“I think the combination of lowering the personal income tax. Making sure were on an even par and not a disadvantage with neighboring states on other taxes,” said Rep. Joe Ellington, (R) Mercer.
And finally the bill in the House of Delegates would eliminate the income tax over 12 years, but would not raise any taxes. It would fill any gaps with surplus funds and budget cuts. It’s clear Democrats are rejecting all three plans.
“I guess this would be the common denominator. The people on the low end of the income scale, and the middle income folks, seem to be the hardest hit,” said Del. Brent Boggs, (D) Braxton – Minority Finance Chair.
“We need new revenue streams. That’s why I support the legalization of adult use cannabis. It’s why Democrats are behind it. We know that if we’re going to bring down all these tax revenues, that we’re going to have a gap,” said Del Shawn Fluharty, (D) Ohio.
There are only eight full days left in the Legislative Session,
“There is a consensus building here that these three proposals are too complicated, and there’s not enough time to work out the differences. Look for the possibility of a special legislative session,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.