Tax cuts

(The Center Square) – West Virginia’s Senate passed an income tax cut compromise over the weekend that will now head to the House of Delegates.

Gov. Jim Justice termed the 21% income tax cut as a compromise that returns $750 to taxpayers with a car tax rebate, 50% property tax rebate on machinery and inventory for small businesses and veteran tax credits.

“It also puts us on a pathway toward the complete elimination of our personal income tax,” Justice said. “It’s a win-win for all West Virginians and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.”

The bill passed the Senate 33-1.

West Virginia’s Americans for Prosperity applauded the compromise bill, House Bill 2526, saying that West Virginia was one of just two income-tax states that has not passed a tax cut since 2021.

“This historic tax cut, once it completes legislative action, represents a good start,” AFP-West Virginia State Director Jason Huffman said. “With this framework in place, we will look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to provide West Virginians with additional transformational tax relief.”

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, however, criticized the bill for being pushed through in one day, as the Senate suspended rules to pass the cut, before a fiscal note is available on the amendment.

The tax cut bill has triggers to keep it from dropping the rate if financial marks are not met by the state.

“There is absolutely no good reason to have automatic triggering mechanisms for tax cuts,” said Center on Budget and Policy Executive Editor Kelly Allen. “They make everything far more complicated as laid out above, and they don't give future legislators the autonomy to decide in real time if more tax cuts are needed or affordable.

“The triggers in HB 2526 should be removed. Future legislatures can easily come back and cut the income tax more if they want to. The only reason for triggers is to get the political points without having to deal with the budgeting and implementation consequences.”

Staff Reporter

Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.