CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice pledged to continue fighting for a compromise plan on personal income tax between him and the West Virginia Senate while the House of Delegates decided to come forward with the plan.
The House unanimously voted against a motion to approve Senate amendments to House Bill 3300, the Income Tax Compromise Bill prepared by Senate Governor and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Eric Tarr, R-Putnam.
The vote came after the judiciary held a briefing on Friday accusing the House of not pursuing the bill. The leadership said they were still keen to work on an income tax exit, but Friday’s vote should send a clear message.
“We are no less interested in continuing to work on this issue than before,” he said. House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, said during a pause after voting on HB 3300. “As I was told in his public comments, the governor asked or perhaps suggested that we were afraid to hold a vote, so we were happy to do that, and we did.”
During a virtual briefing at noon, the judiciary criticized the house.
“You won’t even vote on it” Justice said. “They are not going to vote on it because they are afraid to vote on it … they are not even going to vote on the most important thing this state has ever faced.”
The Senate narrowly passed HB 3300 in an 18-16 vote on Wednesday evening, although the House did not take up the message of the Senate’s passing of the bill until Friday – one day before the end of the 2021 legislative period on Saturday at midnight.
HB 3300, based on the governor “Justice 4 All” The plan, presented during a summit with lawmakers and an amendment proposed by Tarr, would phase out income tax by 50 percent from January 1, 2022, with future cuts. The cut would be paid for with consumer sales of 8 percent and a use tax, as well as the repeal of several sales tax exemptions.
The plan provides a tax break for individuals and families who earn less than $ 35,000 per year to help mitigate the impact of higher sales tax. The proceeds from a new tiered severance tax, tobacco tax increases, and a new lottery scratch slip would go to a special fund to expedite the expiry of the income tax.
The original version of HB 3300, which was passed by the House, included a $ 150 million annual income tax exit until the tax is gone. It is estimated that the house will expire more than a decade. This also includes a fund that uses parts of existing tax flows to accelerate the expiry of income tax.
“This body has passed a bipartisan tax reform plan.” said Eric Householder, chairman of the House Finance Committee, during Friday’s vote. “We showed them the easy way out. West Virgins want real tax breaks and not new taxes. So why should we want to punish our small businesses for being the lifeblood of our economy? Why should we want to burden our citizens anew? “
Steven Allen Adams can be reached at email@example.com.
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