CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Lawmakers are running out of time in this session to send two impactful bills to Governor Jim Justice. However, Wednesday night Governor Jim Justice bought them some more time by issuing a proclamation — extending the legislative session by one day to Sunday.
Members of the Senate debated for hours before finally voting on an amended version of the income tax repeal bill approved by the House.
The Senate narrowly approved the measure by a 18 to 16 vote in order to eventually eliminate the income tax. the bill raises the overall state sales tax to eight percent which would make it the highest of all 50 states.
After the vote, West Virginia Democrats spoke about why they say this bill is not good for Mountain State residents.
“We have the perfect opportunity to build and invest in this state and we just saw half of our budget potentially go out the door on some type of personal income tax reduction that’s been promised to bring people here. More importantly to strike home the fact that elections matter the republicans in that body just increased the sales tax by 2 percent, actually a tax increase of 33 percent.”State Senator Richard Lindsay, (D) Kanawha
Afterwards, we reached out to Republican Senators who declined to speak on camera As far as the budget bill; the Senate amended it’s version of the bill to the House Bill and voted to pass it.
Now both the income tax repeal and the budget bills go back to the House of Delegates for re-consideration. The house is expected to take them up on Thursday.