CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House of Representatives has passed its version of a bill aimed at abolishing state income tax.
The House passed the bill on Monday by 77 votes to 23. It now goes to the State Senate.
The House version would cut statewide income taxes by $ 150 million annually until eliminated. The bill does not take into account other tax increases to offset the cuts.
Under the bill, a special fund would be set up to develop other government sources of income, including lottery proceeds. If the special fund has $ 400 million or more at the end of a fiscal year, then $ 100 million of that fund will be transferred to the state general income fund.
Republican Governor Jim Justice launched his version of the Income Tax Abolition, which would raise the consumer sales tax rate from 6% to 7.9%. The judiciary’s proposal would allow residents to lower their income tax by 60% in the first year.
In order to further compensate for the income tax cut, the judiciary expects changes to the severance pay taxes for the production of coal, oil and natural gas as well as tax increases for tobacco products, beer, wine and spirits.
West Virginia has lost nearly 4% of its population in the past decade. The judiciary has said the ultimate goal of attracting more residents to the state could mean more tax dollars, better schools, and higher wages and real estate values.