CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Today the governor announced the numbers for the first quarter of the fiscal year that began July 1. He says with more people going back to work and more people buying things, the state has a 90 million dollar budget surplus.
West Virginia took in the highest sales tax revenue, and personal income taxes ever recorded, and business taxes are up, as well. That earned the state a high rating from Standard and Poor on Wall Street.
“What they are saying in Wall Street terms is, we have done a very good job managing our budget through these difficult times in the past six months. And as a result West Virginia is in good shape, to anticipate any fiscal pressure that might come,” said Dave Hardy, WV Secretary of Revenue.
The state still has an 8.9% unemployment rate, and a lot of unforeseen expenses due to COVID-19, including closed businesses. With the state’s $90 million surplus, and unspent federal aid, the Governor’s political opponent wants it used to help more people.
“You know there was $1.25 billion direct money given to the State of West Virginia. He’s only spent about $250 million of it. There’s still another billion dollars just sitting there and it’s not going out to the people who need it the most,” said Commissioner Ben Salango, (D) Nominee for WV Governor.
“Trust me. We’re getting the money out to the people in every way, shape form or fashion that we can, as fast as we possibly can,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
The governor says some of the surplus can be used for more road repairs and maintenance.
Economic performance is always a critical factor in political races. We’ll find out n just more than a month, how West Virginians feel about their economy when they cast their ballots for Governor.