CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice will deliver his annual State of the State address at 7:00 p.m.
Many lawmakers in both parties want a continued focus on economic development at was announced that Nucor Steel and Green Power Busses were opening operations in West Virginia with perhaps thousands of new jobs coming.
“Business development-wise. If we attract more businesses here, the tax base will go up. And we’ll have the money to do things anyway,” said Del. Mark Zatezalo, (R) Hancock.
“We’re losing people at a rapid rate. One of the few states in this country that continues to lose population. That has to be a central focus going forward for Democrats and Republicans if we’re going to have a successful economy and a successful state,” said Del. Shawn Fluharty, (D) Ohio – Minority Whip.
But the parties are divided on what to do with the state’s estimated $400 million surplus. Republicans want to cut the state’s personal income tax, while Democrats want to cut the state sales tax from 6%to 4.75%.
“Taxes are always good if you can reduce them, and if have a surplus what we want to do is reduce the sales tax because that is a regressive tax. That tends to affect the middle and lower classes more,” said Del. Jim Barach, (D) Kanawha.
“Talk of tax reform, and specifically income tax reform, I know we talked a lot about that last session. I hope that remains a priority until we can get something done,” said Del. Austin Haynes, (R) Fayette.
The governor is sure to talk about his experience with COVID-19, as well as the state’s continued response to the pandemic.
The speech is at 7:00 p.m. and will be streamed on www.WOWKTV.com.