West Virginia Governor Proposes Tax Cuts

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

West Virginians could soon see another cut to the food tax, a break for poorer families from income taxes and decreased businesses taxes.
Governor Manchin announced plans this morning to convene a special legislative session just two days after the November Seventh election.
Manchin wants lawmakers to act on several recommendations from the newly released tax modernization report.
The governor has proposed more than 142 (m) million dollars in tax cuts for the next two years. He believes increased collections and an increase to taxes such as the one on soft drinks will make up the revenue.
Manchin specifically called for reducing the food tax from five cents to three cents per dollar by 2008. The Legislature had cut the food tax by a percentage point last year.
Manchin also wants to double an income tax credit seniors get for paying their property taxes.

The West Virginia Tax Modernization Project recommended more than a dozen changes in its 262-page report released by Governor Manchin today.
PERSONAL INCOME TAX:
- Exempt families below the federal poverty guideline, via an indexed credit.
- Double the Senior Citizen Tax Credit for Property Tax, to $20,000.
- Eliminate the credit for renovating a certified historic residence.
- Repeal the alternative minimum tax.
- Study excluding pensions and retirement income from tax.
SALES TAX:
- Manchin has proposed reducing the food tax to 3 cents per dollar by 2008.
- Exempt all prescription drugs and prosthetic devices.
- Increase the cigarette tax.
- Increase soft drink tax to 6 percent.
BUSINESS TAXES:
- Reduce the Business Franchise Tax from .70 percent to .55 percent.
- Cut the Corporate Net Income Tax from 9 percent to 8.75 percent.
- Repeal an exclusion stemming from long-held property sales.
- Repeal the Corporate License Tax.
- Allow temporary Severance Tax increases to expire on time.
- Step up crackdowns on illegal tax shelters.
- Develop a single tax to replace the franchise and incomes taxes.
STATE ROAD FUND:
- Keep both gasoline taxes.
- Offer privilege tax credit for out-of-state vehicles.
- Exempt new vehicles from annual inspection and fee.
- Study privatizing the West Virginia Turnpike.
PROPERTY TAX:
- Have state Tax Division review county assessment plans.
- Increase crackdown on delinquent payments.
- Eliminate the growth formula and levy rate rollback.


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