CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has submitted a bill to the West Virginia Legislature that, if passed, would end the state’s income tax.
The governor has been pushing for the elimination or phasing out of the tax for several weeks. He says removing the state income tax would raise wages and home values while bringing more people and businesses to the Mountain State. Justice is hosting another virtual Town Hall on the tax for West Virginians to ask their questions and share their concerns at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, March 4.
“We have all the building blocks in our state. We have an economy that’s truly on the launchpad, some of the greatest people you’ll find anywhere, who are smart, kind, faith-based, and hardworking people, along with four of the best seasons on Earth with more natural beauty than you could possibly imagine,” Justice said. “But now we need to make a big move to put us over the top, so when people look at another population map 70 years from now, West Virginia will be right up there with the very top states in the country. The last piece of this puzzle is the elimination of our personal income tax. That’s why I am proposing a plan to make this dream a reality starting with a 60% reduction in state income tax for year one.”
If the bill were to pass, Justice says West Virginia would become the first state in the mid-Atlantic or Northeast regions to eliminate state income taxes. He says his goal in removing the tax is to “enable West Virginians to keep more of their hard-earned money.” Justice says under his plan, income brackets below $35,000 a year would receive a tax rebate check.
“To truly make this work, we all need to pull the rope together as West Virginians,” Justice said.
Justice says “pulling the rope together” would entail changing the state consumer sales tax from 6.0% to 7.9% and also adding a small, single-item luxury tax for certain high-value items he says “only the very wealthy typically purchase.” The tax on soft drinks, tobacco products, beer, wine and liquor would also be changed under the plan. His proposed bill states professional services, such as legal and accounting services, would pay the same tax rate as skilled trades such as plumbers or electricians.