House Finance Committee member flips through House Bill 3300. (Photo courtesy WV Legislative Photography) Businessman and former Senate President Bill Cole supports Governor Jim Justice’s tax plan. (Courtesy photo of the WV Governor’s Office)
CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice and a new outside group continue to urge support for his tax reform proposal, which is pending as the House of Delegates ‘House of Delegates’ exit plan on income tax is under revision today.
House Bill 3300, which deals with lowering income tax rates across the board, is in second reading in the House today and is due to be passed on Friday.
HB 3300, which emerged from the House Finance Committee on Monday, would phased out income tax by $ 150 million for years from January 2022 until the tax was completely eliminated.
The bill also creates an income tax reduction fund from a portion of various sources of tax revenue and tax revenue. Once the ITR fund hits $ 400 million, $ 100 million will be transferred to the state general income fund, with the remaining $ 300 million used as a buffer for economic downturns.
According to a tax bill released by the Legislator’s Regulatory and Tax Affairs Department on Wednesday, it could take between 16 and 23 years for HB 3300 to fully expire income tax. The tax bill assumes an economic growth rate of 2 percent per year, which would weaken the annual income tax cut of $ 150 million.
While the House Finance Committee’s HB 3300 is on its way to likely going all over the House, the judiciary’s tax reform plan is stuck in legislative committees. House Bill 2027 will remain on the House Finance Committee, while Senate Bill will remain on the Senate Finance Committee.
The judiciary set out on Tuesday and Wednesday holding town halls on its tax reform plan in Morgantown and Beckley. Earlier this week, Justice held a roundtable discussion with business leaders and lobbyists over his tax plan after several trade groups opposed his plan.
The judiciary plans to cut personal income tax rates by 60 percent starting in July for fiscal year 2022 and offer a tax rebate to residents who earn less than $ 35,000 a year. Justice’s entire tax proposal and tax break would cut state tax revenues by $ 1.088 billion.
The judiciary proposed tax increases of $ 902.6 million to fund the personal income tax cut. These increases include increasing consumer sales and using the tax rate; Creation of a tiered settlement tax for fossil fuels; a new tax on certain luxury goods; and increased taxes on cigarettes, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, beer, wine, liquor, and soda. The judiciary would also remove sales tax exemptions from professional services such as legal services, accountants, computer hardware and software, and other categories.
A new group sent emails on Wednesday promoting the judiciary’s tax plan. Opportunity Now West Virginia, a 501 (c) (4) nonprofit founded on March 10, promoted Justice’s recent interviews with Sean Hannity, conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas and Bloomberg News Justice Tax Plan.
“Hannity is among other prominent proponents of conservative values, including Hugh Hewitt and Cal Thomas, who support the plan as a bold, growth-enhancing, long-term solution for West Virgins.” the email indicated. “We believe in putting money back in the pockets of the West Virgins and support the abolition of the income tax proposed by Governor Jim Justice to lead the mountain state into a better future.”
A website and Facebook page for Opportunity Now West Virginia – which had a follower and no posts as of Wednesday – doesn’t identify who is behind the organization. According to the West Virginia Secretary of State, Opportunity Now West Virginia was founded by businessman and former Republican Senate President of Mercer County, Bill Cole.
Cole, who owns a number of car dealerships and other businesses in West Virginia and other states, attended Justice’s Business Roundtable Monday. Justice, now a Republican, defeated Cole as a Democrat for governor in 2016.
“It is not an easy task to lead us forward in abolishing income tax.” Cole said Monday. “The governor has put what he thinks is the best bill, the best way to move forward with income tax abolition. Hopefully the collective minds will come together and we will get a great response and a great law in the end. So I would like to strongly encourage these groups to regroup, step back and make this another success story for the state. And if not, be ashamed of her. “
Steven Allen Adams can be reached at email@example.com
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