W.Va. House Kills Another Revenue Increase

Mar 29, 2017

The West Virginia House of Delegates has killed another revenue increasing bill – one that would’ve generated an estimated $215 million in three years.

House Bill 2933 has taken several forms as it worked its way through the House of Delegates. In its latest form that was set for a vote Wednesday, the bill would’ve reinstated a 3 percent food tax in October of this year and eliminated a number of exemptions to the current sales tax – things like daycare services, cell phones, or personal and professional services.

It would’ve lowered the sales tax from 6 to 5 percent in July 2018, and it would’ve put a flat 5.1 percent rate on the personal income tax.

Several delegates swore on the campaign trail they would not support any revenue increases, and some members even tried killing the bill on its first reading in the chamber Saturday. By the time the bill reached second reading Monday, it had over a dozen pending amendments.

Consideration of any of those amendments and the bill itself were delayed multiple times before it was ultimately laid over Wednesday night. Wednesday, however, was crossover day, or the final day members can vote on bills originating in their chamber. That procedural move kills the bill and prevents lawmakers from putting it to a vote.

A similar tax reform measure, however, passed out of the State Senate Wednesday. That bill increases the sales tax, creates a new structure for the personal income tax, and lowers the severance tax on coal.