CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The West Virginia House Finance Committee tabled its own bill on Monday evening to lower state income tax, but in a very different way than Governor Jim Justice’s proposal.
According to the House’s communications director, the biggest difference between the Judiciary’s plan and the new one is that the governor’s plan includes a large number of tax increases, and the new in-house plan does not include tax increases but would require cuts.
Under that plan, lawmakers would have to make $ 150 million worth of cuts every year until state income tax is gone.
At the same time as the House Finance Committee was considering its new version, Justice was promoting its original plan to overturn the state’s income tax with business executives, political figures and even former political enemies at the Charleston Cultural Center – extolling the proposal as a way to win people over to the state.
“They will come,” said Justice. “If they come in an avalanche, great. If they come in a trickle, great. They will come and with that there will be many opportunities. “
An overview of the governor’s plan estimates initial personal income tax cuts totaling more than $ 1 billion, but also tax increases of more than $ 900 million to offset this on things like cigarettes, luxury goods, and alcohol.
For example, the tax on every keg of beer a brewery produces would increase by more than 400 percent.
Ray Frye, who owns Taps at Heritage in Huntington, fears this could be devastating.
“The industry has grown for the last four years and this tax is going to make life difficult for them and I don’t know if they can all survive,” Frye said.
These concerns would be contentious in the wording of the House’s draft law. The question would shift to where the cuts would come from.
The House’s communications director says it is possible, but unlikely, that the governor’s version of the income tax plan could be further developed after this new version was introduced.
Under the new version of the plan, lower tax brackets would be the first group that no longer has to pay state income tax.
Tuesday is day 42 of the 60-day parliamentary term.
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