CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – On Wednesday night, Governor Jim Justice held a town hall to discuss his income tax waiver proposal. The governor said he wanted to make a positive net profit for the West Virgins through their paychecks.
“I try every possible way to get a net positive result on your paycheck and take-home dollars,” said Governor Jim Justice (R). “I’m trying to get to where it will be positive for you in terms of income for everyone in our state.”
However, the governor said those in the lower income brackets are the most difficult to make a positive profit. To solve this problem, Governor Justice wants to offer some kind of tax refund check to get them in the net positive. Also, to fill the void left by the reduced income tax, the governor suggests strengthening businesses and natural resources. One such way would be to increase sales tax by 1.5% to 1.9% and create a graduated severance tax for raw materials companies.
“We asked them to consider and agree that it would be in the best interests of our state for us to increase these severance taxes,” said Dave Hardy, Treasury Secretary. “In other words, instead of having a flat-rate tax, for example, we now have a flat-rate tax on natural gas of five percent of sales tax. The tax will rise or fall depending on the price of the product.”
Should the income tax abolition be approved, the plan would be to phase out the income tax while gradually introducing the increased taxes over time.
“You’re going to be phasing out some of the income tax, half of it, and at the same time you’re going to roll out the tax increases and everything,” said Governor Justice. “You won’t pay a tax hike until January 2022. Everything will go hand in hand.”
The earliest tax effect of the income tax waiver would be January 1, 2022.