Dec 27, 2011- Food Tax Dropping; Marcellus Update

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

Ring in the new year with a slightly lower bill at the grocery store.

2012 will start with (slightly) lower bills for many of us. West Virginia's food tax will drop on Jan. 1 from the current 3 cents to 2 cents per dollar.

This move comes after the Legislature passed a bill during the special session on redistricting that puts the state on a path to phase out the tax entirely.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) used lowering the food tax as one of his selling points during this year's campaign, calling the tax "regressive."

State officials say the move will save a family of four about $52 per year.

The tax will drop to 1 percent in July 2012. In July 2013, it will be eliminated completely.

Back in August when the bill was passed, we talked to several shoppers who felt like it wasn't that big of a deal since they felt they wouldn't notice it.

What do you think? Is this a welcome break? Would you have liked to have seen the tax phased out all at once?

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A new Marcellus shale regulatory law gives the Department of Environmental Protection money to hire more natural gas well inspectors and support staff. But filling the 14 new positions will take some time.

DEP Secretary Randy Huffman tells the Charleston Gazette that his agency must compete with the private sector, where workers can earn two to three times the salaries of the state jobs. The minimum state inspector's salary will be $35,000 a year, while supervising staff will earn $40,000 a year.

The DEP will have a larger pool of candidates to draw from under the new law. It reduced the amount of gas industry experience required from six years to two years.

Huffman says it could take at least a year to fill the positions.

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