CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – “I am asking all of you to join me to repeal the income tax in the state of West Virginia.” said, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice in his State of the State Address Wednesday night.
$2.1 billion of West Virginia’s$ 4.5 billion budget comes from personal income tax.
Now, Governor Justice wants to eliminate the tax on working West Virginians. But it leaves one big question. How would the state make up for the lost money?
Justice says, “Something we’re going to have to do that’s going to hit the everyday man is that we’re going to have to raise sales taxes by one and half percent. If we’re going to eliminate our income tax. We need to look at putting an additional tax on cigarettes and soda.”
Some lawmakers say the plan will alleviate stress on the working class and keep people in the state. “Who’s moving out of the state? It’s the working West Virginians.. They’re moving out of the state to get jobs. So if we can make the load lighter.. We can keep them.” said, State Sen. Rollan Roberts (R) -Raleigh.
While others say the idea is flawed. “If we want to keep our young people here. If that’s the stated goal, then there are a lot of ways that we can do that, that our young people tell us about every day. I’ve never had a young person tell me ‘Oh if I just didn’t have to pay the income tax, then I would stay.'” said, State Sen. Steve Baldwin (D) – Greenbrier.
Governor Justice added that now, more than ever, is the time to make this move. Saying, “It’s your real chance. The stimulus’ will die away.. Covid will die away. The ask yourself. Step back and ask yourself, how are they gunna come? How are they gunna come?”