BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WOWK) — As West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice continues to tout his tax plan, one restaurant owner in Huntington is speaking out against it.
The proposed tax plan would eliminate 60% of tax filers’ personal income tax within the first year, leaving a revenue loss that restaurant owners like Chris Dixon says will negatively affect them.
Dixon is the owner of Christopher’s Eats in Barboursville.
He says he is coming out of ‘the most stressful year’ of his life and he feels the time isn’t right for this tax plan.
Like many restaurant owners, he describes the pandemic as brutal
He didn’t have to close his doors, but he said he came close.
According to Dixon, had it not been for the federal Paycheck Protection Program he wouldn’t have been able to have kept his team of 40.
Now, as Dixon sees some light at the end of the tunnel, he faces another hurdle.
The Governor’s proposed elimination of the state income tax also includes a sales tax increase of 6 to 7.9 %, a luxury goods tax, as well as tobacco, soda, and liquor taxes.
“The proposed tax on soda is proposed to go up about 500 %, that’s huge,” said Dixon.
“I might be able to absorb some of that cost but the restaurant and bar business is such a penny, nickel, and dime business that I can’t absorb too much, it’s going to have to be passed onto the end-user,” said Dixon.
I might be able to absorb some of that cost but the restaurant and bar business is such a penny, nickel, and dime business that I can’t absorb too much, it’s going to have to be passed onto the end-userChris Dixon, Christopher’s Eats
That means the customer will pay and Dixon fears it will mean less business, which is the opposite of what the Governor says his tax plan intends to create.
“This will create two and a half more Christmas shopping seasons in West Virginia and plus the one we already have, that’s three and a half more Christmases in West Virginia – forever,” said Justice during his Monday press briefing.
This will create two and a half more Christmas shopping seasons in West Virginia and plus the one we already have, that’s three and a half more Christmases in West Virginia – foreverGov. Jim Justice
Supporters of repealing the income tax in West Virginia point to states like Florida and Texas that don’t have an income tax and are growing in population; unlike the state of West Virginia.
But Dixon, a former Jacksonville, Florida resident of 28 years, says West Virginia just doesn’t have the same infrastructure as Florida.
“Florida relies heavily on the gas tax, tourism is massive, we don’t have the same tourism that they have, the population is completely different, the median income is I think roughly $11,000 more than West Virginia, it just doesn’t equate.”