Babydog Justice / Photo courtesy of W.Va. Governor's Office

Justice cheers House passage of 10 percent permanent personal income tax cut

Editor’s note: The following press release was issued by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s office.

CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement today after the West Virginia House of Delegates voted bipartisanly to pass his proposal to permanently reduce the state’s personal income tax by an aggregate of 10 percent.

“I thank Speaker Roger Hanshaw, Finance Chairman Eric Householder, Majority Leader Amy Summers, and members of the House of Delegates for voting overwhelmingly to pass my proposal to cut personal income taxes,” Justice said Thursday. “I encourage the Senate to vote in favor of my proposal,” he continued. “This is a good deal for all West Virginians. This tax cut will come as an immediate relief to families who are paying the price for rampant inflation across the country while also setting us up to bring generations of prosperity to West Virginia.”

Under the Governor’s proposal, the aggregate 10% tax cut will be retroactive back to January 1, 2022, putting $254 million back in the pockets of West Virginians.

The proposed total tax reduction of $254 million is the maximum recommended reduction that can be safely made while remaining in compliance with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) restrictions.

The Governor’s proposal is simple enough to be contained in a two-page bill and is a true tax cut – reducing the personal income tax without raising any other taxes in the process.

You can view the bill, House Bill 301, in its entirety here.

In his statement Thursday, Justice urged the Senate to endorse his proposal and said his proposal was superior to the Senate’s.

“In contrast, the tax plan proposed by the Senate favors big companies over small businesses and hard-working West Virginians by giving millions in tax cuts to corporations with the elimination of the business personal property tax,” Justice continued. “It puts control over county budgets in the hands of the Legislature, with no guarantee that the money will continue to flow if West Virginia sees an economic decline. Do we really want to play a game of chance when it comes to our schools and our police, fire, and EMS services? It’s a big spend with big risks.”

“My proposal minds our store and capitalizes on the incredible economic successes we’ve seen this year by giving back the maximum we can right now while staying within the guidelines of the federal government.”

“Furthermore, the Senate’s plan to eliminate the personal property tax on vehicles will equal roughly the same amount per family as a 10% reduction in personal income tax. But that’s the limit. This is only our first step in reducing the personal income tax. Their plan would be a one-time only cut. My proposal also sets West Virginia up to continue eliminating the personal income tax by 10% or more each year until it gets to zero. That’s 10 TIMES more savings than the personal property tax on vehicles!”

“Additionally, the personal property tax on vehicles is a reduction of $152 million, my proposal gives $254 million back to West Virginians, which over the next 10 years would total over $2.5 billion!”

“At the end of the day, what the Senate is proposing is ‘Build the field and wish and hope they come.’ That’s not wise. Reducing the personal income tax has been proven time and time again in many other states as an economic and population driver beyond belief.”

“My proposal offers the quickest way to return tax dollars to hardworking West Virginians and puts West Virginia on a pathway to eventually eliminate the personal income tax entirely, which will drive phenomenal growth to our state for generations to come. But we need to move on this before it’s too late. With the unbelievable economic growth our state has achieved this year, now is the time to provide this major tax break for our people.”

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