The 2020 U.S. census shows West Virginia is one of three states to have lost population since 2010 and the unenviable position of population loss leader among all 50 states.
Despite the population decline, the heads of state have done a good job managing the state budget and keeping our state afloat during this difficult time. West Virginia ended fiscal 2020 with a budget surplus of approximately $ 400 million, a significant achievement given the circumstances we are in.
But the threat of higher taxes, particularly the proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, will reduce economic output and remove the burden on states to pay for any programs proposed by our federal government.
As a small populous state with no major cities and five competitive border states, West Virginia is particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. Corporate tax increases could mean a decline in current West Virginia jobs as companies look for cheaper rates in other states or countries.
To protect our state’s economy, West Virginia policymakers must say no to corporate tax increases and instead continue to find ways to make West Virginia more attractive for businesses and families to call their new home. Without the ability to incentivize economic development and growth, West Virginia and the rest of rural America will continue their steady population decline.
We must not allow the burdensome tax policies of Washington bureaucrats to harm our communities.