Lawmakers react to Justice tax cut pitch
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s proposal for a 10% reduction in the state’s income tax is not a guarantee, but it has support from lawmakers such as Del. Dana Ferrell.
“When we talk about income tax relief, these are people who are working,” he said Thursday. “Hard-working people, West Virginians, and this is an opportunity to allow them to keep more of their money, and the great thing is they’re either going to invest it or spend it back into the local economy.”
Delegate Ferrell, R-Kanawha, was among 76 delegates who overwhelmingly supported a similar, 10% income tax cut in February.
Analysts said that plan would have saved the average household $200 to $300 a year.
Individual savings is not yet known for the Governor’s proposal, however, he said it’s different. He said it is built on more data that shows stronger growth and less risk.
“This is not cluttered with all kinds of triggers,” he said Wednesday. “It’s just this as simple, as I always say, ‘As simple as mud.’ So with all of that, you’ve got $5 gasoline today, you’ve got all kinds of issues that last January or February we didn’t have.”
The governor said people need tax relief now, but the proposal may face an uphill climb.
The state Senate never considered the House proposal earlier this year.
Senate President Craig Blair has stated, on the record, a desire to eliminate the personal property tax over other items.
Senate leadership has been unavailable to speak on camera, but Senate Democrats believe eliminating the personal property tax and slashing the income tax may be too much.
“That’s a huge price tag,” said Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier. “You’re probably talking in the neighborhood of $750 million to do both of those, and the problem is that property tax is not, that relief is not immediate.”
Delegate Ferrell supports cutting both taxes. He believes it may be possible, but doing so will require taking a close look.
The governor’s proposal would be retroactive to January 2022. That means taxpayers could see a change in withholdings from their paychecks this fall, along with a cheaper tax bill when they file their 2022 return next year.
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