“No New Taxes” that seems to be the mantra at the House Finance Committee which has now tabled a proposed 3-cent increase in the West Virginia gasoline tax. The panel also killed a 1 cent increase in the sales tax, which was earmarked for road repairs and construction.
“Well I think all of us are doing all we can to avoid tax increases. We realize that the state government in West Virginia is much larger than it needs to be” said Del. Jim Butler, (R) Mason.
That means the budget focus is on making more cuts, not increasing revenue. That left some wondering how the roads will get fixed:
“I think the impact is, one, we are already short on revenue. And now we’ve had ideas on how to raise revenue, but those ideas have been stripped,” said Del. Patsy Trecost II, (D) Harrison
But at the gas pumps, people were glad the tax increases are gone, though they admit the roads are bad.
“Oh they’re not in the best of shape after winter, but I’m not really in favor of raising the tax,” said West Virginia Taxpayer William Jordan.
“Oh I want the roads fixed, but I can’t afford to pay the tax, neither,” said a woman who did not want to give her name.
Still others felt the public has been double crossed in the past.
“If it goes to the roads, I’d be in favor of a little bit, but it doesn’t seem like it ever goes to the roads,” said West Virginia taxpayer Donald Dann.
Proposed fee increase at the DMV, may die, too.
“So here’s the problem: the House bill got rid of the gas tax and sales tax increases, but the Senate Budget still contains those items. Obviously, they need to work out a compromise,” said 13 News Political Reporter Mark Curtis.