The House Finance Committee has approved ending the state income tax on all Social Security benefits. West Virginia is one of only 13 states that still levies an income tax on Social Security. The bill has wide bipartisan support.
“We’re going to see seniors for the first time, since the 1980s, receive the total elimination of the state income tax on their Social Security benefits. So it’s a win for seniors, it’s a win for our economy,” said Del. Eric Householder, (R) Berkeley, Chairman-Finance Committee.
“But I think its a priority for the Democratic Caucus to eliminate the Social Security tax. So, many of us pushed for that, campaigned for that, and it’s a campaign promise we are following through with,” said Del. Isaac Sponaugle, (D) Pendleton.
Right now the tax cut would be for all seniors, but some lawmakers want to put a cap on retirees who are high income recipients.
“We had a cap of $100,000 dollars on adjusted gross income, which again is smart. People who make in the hundreds of thousands of dollars certainly don’t need the tax breaks that the folks at the lower end of that economic scale desperately do need,” said State Sen. Mike Romano, (D) Harrison.
Many Democrats do not believe the cap on income will pass, so as it stands now, all Social Security recipeints will benefit.
“I certainly hope we will be able to continue to do things that will benefit the people of this state. And any way that we can cut taxes and make that possible is great,” said Del. David Kelly, (R) Tyler.
It’s estimated the tax cut will cost the state $50 million dollars in revenue, but right now the budget surplus is almost four times that amount.
The House will vote on final passge of the Social Security Tax cut on Friday.The bill then goes to the Senate for consideration there.