UPDATE: Gov. Justice talks proposed tax increase

By  | 

UPDATE 2/9/17 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed his proposed plan to save the state's budget during a meeting Thursday with the news media.

On Wednesday night, the governor laid out a plan that proposed several fee and tax increases during his State of State address.

Throughout his campaign, Justice was adamant that he did not want to raise taxes.

But now he says the situation is so dire, bold moves have to be taken.

"It's like deciding to operate on the patient. You open the patient up and they're covered with cancer. What are you going to do? Sew them back up and just let them die? Or are you going to try and do something and make the patient well?" Justice said.

WSAZ also asked Justice firsthand about the reports of his businesses having unpaid taxes.

"At the end of the day every single obligation that I have will be paid," he responded.

As for finalizing the budget, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The Republican-controlled Legislature's leaders have advocated cuts to help close the gap, as well as eliminating certain sales tax exemptions.



UPDATE 2/8/17 @ 11:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice laid out a plan Wednesday night during his State of State speech to fix the estimated $500 million shortfall in next year's budget.

Justice didn't use a teleprompter, but instead he used a white board to illustrate his points.

Justice is proposing about $30 million dollars in cuts and he wants to take about $123 million from the Rainy Day Fund.

The cuts from the General Revenue Fund include: RESAs, West Virginia University, Marshall University, WV Network, College Readiness Program, Division of Labor, Vehicle Purchase Reduction, Educational Broadcasting Authority, Division of Culture and History, and the WV Film Office.

All of the programs are 100 percent cut from the General Revenue Fund except West Virginia University and Marshall University. Those schools are receiving a 4.4 percent cut.

Justice wants to generate revenue through a series of different adjustments. These include: a raise to the sales tax by 1/2 of 1 percent and a .2 percent tax on business gross revenue.

The governor wants to take all the money generated and put it toward a new billion dollar-plus roads program.

Justice says the program will create 25,000 jobs for every billion dollars spent.

But West Virginians would have to pay more and the pump and at the DMV for the program to work.

Justice proposed raising DMV fees and raising the excise tax on gas by 10 cents a gallon.

He also said he would set aside $105 million for economic development and infrastructure investment.

The Republican-controlled Legislature's leaders have advocated cuts to help close the gap and eliminating certain sales tax exemptions.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Jim Justice has proposed government cuts and incremental tax increases to close a projected $500 million West Virginia budget deficit next year.

The newly elected Democrat also wants a 2 percent raise for classroom teachers and $1.4 billion in bonding for highway programs he says would create thousands of jobs.

He made the comments Wednesday night during his State of the State address.

His proposed general revenue budget unveiled Wednesday would rise to about $4.8 billion. Total spending, including federal and other dedicated funds, would be $12.9 billion.

He would set aside $105 million for economic development and infrastructure investment.

The Republican-controlled Legislature's leaders have advocated cuts to help close the gap and eliminating certain sales tax exemptions.

Justice called for those plus a half-percent sales tax increase, 0.2 percent tax on commercial gross revenues and 10-cents-a-gallon increase in the gasoline tax.



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus