Organization completes analysis of Senate income tax plan

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The completely rewritten West Virginia Senate version of the state personal income tax elimination plan was introduced on the chamber floor Thursday morning.

An analysis of the proposal by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy found that it will provide tax cuts for the wealthy while increasing taxes and forcing budget cuts on the less fortunate.

The report said the Senate plan would raise taxes for the lowest earning 60 percent of West Virginians in the first year. They would be most impacted by the increased sales tax, which will be the highest state sales tax in the nation, and the reintroduction of the food tax, that only 14 other states currently have.

“The typical household will see a $25 to $30 net tax savings, which isn’t really a whole lot,” analyst Sean O’Leary said. “But, what will have a bigger impact on those households are the cuts to the budget that we are going to have to see to make this plan work. We have about a $5 billion budget. This plan cuts taxes by a little over $2 billion and raises just over $900 million. So, that is an about a billion-and-a-half gap that we are going to have to fill somehow. It’s going to mean cuts to services, cuts to education, and it could likely mean further tax increases to even wipe out the modest savings.”

The Senate plan will have its first reading on the floor on Friday.

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