CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Consumers could soon be paying a little less for a fizzy beverage in West Virginia.
In this session, lawmakers passed SB533, which would eliminate the long-standing tax on soft drinks as early as July 2024. Now the bill is waiting on the Governor’s signature.
The bill replaces the money from the Pop Tax with money from the State Insurance Premium tax and will continue to provide revenue for WVU School of Medicine as well as sending funding to Marshall University’s School of Medicine and the Osteopathic School of Medicine.
The West Virginia Beverage Association said eliminating the tax was the right thing to do.
“Repealing the beverage tax is a win for West Virginia’s working families, small businesses and the state economy. It’s also a win for our state’s medical schools by guaranteeing a steady source of revenue for WVU that was included in the beverage tax and directing new revenue to Marshall and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine – all without increasing existing taxes,” explained Jennifer Richmond, Chair of West Virginia Beverage Association. “This tax has raised prices on hundreds of everyday beverages for 71 years, putting local businesses at a competitive disadvantage by encouraging residents to shop across state lines.”
The bill went to the Governor on March 17 but so far no additional action has been taken.