W.Va. Senate approves gasoline tax hike

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's Senate has voted to raise the state's gas tax by 4.5 cents a gallon while the House narrowly advanced a 1 percent cut in the state sales tax while cutting exemptions for legal, accounting and telecommunication services.

The Senate's 27-6 Saturday vote backs one of Gov. Jim Justice's proposals to raise the basic state excise tax on gasoline by 4.5 cents per gallon to 25 cents on July 1. The bill now goes to the House.

The House of Delegates 50-44 vote Saturday allows a bill to advance that would cut the state's consumer sales tax next year from 6 percent to 5 percent. It would also eliminate the current exemption for food and would tax groceries at 3 percent.

The House is scheduled to consider possible amendments.

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