CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia is being urged to eventually get rid of its personal income tax as two of the nation’s leading tax-cut proponents visited Charleston Monday. West Virginia is not the only state having this discussion, so there is some competitive pressure.
It was a “who’s-who” of West Virginia business, civic and government leaders gathered at the Culture Center to hear two long time advocates for cutting taxes, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Stephen Moore of FreedomWorks.
Right now nine states, including Florida and Texas, have no personal income taxes. Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia are all considering lowering income taxes, so that is indeed putting pressure on West Virginia.
“If West Virginia were able to eliminate its state income tax, you’re talking about a big neon billboard that says ‘We’re open for business in West Virginia.’ You can compete with states like Florida and Texas,” said Moore.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and the House of Delegates favor cutting the state income tax in half over the next three years. The State Senate is looking to cut the income tax by 15% this year, with unspecified reductions in the following years. The senate also want to rebate everyone’s car tax.
The sides are still trying to forge a compromise.
“Nothing drives growth, nothing drives jobs, nothing drives people bringing companies to a state like the personal income tax,” said Justice. “West Virginia, if you don’t watch out, with everybody else around us moving, and maybe everybody in other different states, we are going to get left in the dust if we don’t move and move now.”
So, if the state cuts income taxes, where will it get money? The theory is people will but more things with their additional income, and that will generate more sales tax revenue.