PULLING THE ROPE TOGETHER
“To really make this work, we all need to pull together as West Virginians,” said Governor Justice.
The pull on the rope starts with changing the state consumer sales tax from 6.0% to 7.9%, while adding a small luxury tax on a single item for certain high-quality luxury items that are normally only bought by the very wealthy. Under the governor’s proposal, professional services such as legal and accounting services will pay the same tax rate as craft trades such as plumbers and electricians. The consumer sales tax base is expanded to include computer hardware / software, legal services, accounting services, other professional services, select advertising, electronic computing, and health and fitness memberships. These professional services will see a very sizeable increase in business as people move to West Virginia from outside.
For the first time since 1951, the tax on non-alcoholic beverages is changed. Taxes on tobacco, beer, wine and spirits will also be changed.
The plan of Gov. Justice also envisages the introduction of a tiered natural gas, oil, and coal severance tax scheme so that these companies toss a little more in the good times and the state raises and lowers the severance tax in bad times to protect their critical jobs.