Tax Reform

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice has signed a proclamation to extend the regular session by one day, allowing lawmakers more time to come to a budget agreement.

During a press conference at the Capitol today, Justice said he was disappointed that a budget compromise hadn’t already been reached.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate will be presented with their respective 2018 budget plans on the floor Wednesday, and in the House, that budget will rely on nearly $140 million in new revenue.

The revenue comes from getting rid of certain exemptions to the state’s sales tax in an effort to lower the overall rate down the road.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee have advanced their bill to "broaden the base and lower the rate" of the state's sales tax, a bill that the chamber is relying on to balance its 2018 budget.

Members were initially presented the latest version of Senate Bill 484 Saturday and took the bill up once again Monday morning.

On The Legislature Today, members of the House and Senate are being presented with their budget bills which the Senate Finance Chairs says look almost nothing alike.

Still, he maintains the Legislature could pass a budget by Day 60.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Yet another plan to restructure taxes in West Virginia has been taken up by members of the House of Delegates.

The House Finance Committee was presented with their version of a Senate Bill 484 during a Saturday afternoon meeting.

Eric Nelson
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

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

On The Legislature Today, there are several bills making their way through the legislative process that lawmakers are counting on to balance their respective budgets.

Meanwhile, many of those same lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are in talks with Gov. Jim Justice about how to close a budget gap millions of dollars wide. Jason Pizatella, Gov. Justice’s Deputy Chief of Staff, discusses how those negotiations are going so far.

On The Legislature Today, Republican House leadership's budget plan, according to Finance Chair Eric Nelson, aims to protect higher education from additional budget cuts after lawmakers initially announced they’d reduce funding to the system by $50 million.

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee sat down with me earlier today to discuss the potential budget implications for his university.

On The Legislature Today, both the House and Senate are working on their own tax reform measures that rely on changes to the sales and personal income taxes. 

House Finance Committee
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee are expected to get their first look at the chamber’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year in a meeting this Saturday. In order to balance it, lawmakers will have to close an estimated $497 million hole.

On The Legislature Today, during his State of the State Address, Gov. Jim Justice presented lawmakers with two plans.

The first was a way to balance the 2018 budget. The second, was a plan to raise more than $1 billion for road construction in the state through a road bond. Since, Justice has been traveling the state promoting that bond plan, but lawmakers have taken little action.

Secretary of the Department of Transportation Tom Smith discusses the proposal and whether Justice has given up on the push for new road funding.

On The Legislature Today, Republican leaders this week released their 2018 budget framework and progressed a bill to reform the state's tax system, while Gov. Jim Justice made changes to his budget bill that he says will result in a $54 million surplus next year. 

Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy Executive Director Garrett Ballengee and Senior Policy Analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Sean O'Leary discuss the plans.

On The Legislature Today, days before Republican Legislative leaders previewed their plan to balance the 2018 budget, members of the House Liberty Caucus came up with a solution of their own.

Delegates Pat McGeehan and Michael Folk introduced their budget bill Thursday in the House of Delegates. It makes cuts to "government bureaucracy" in Charleston, smooths payments to the teacher's retirement system, and cuts Gov. Jim Justice's $105 million "SOS Fund" to not just find a balance, but include a 2 percent pay raise for teachers. 

The delegates discuss their plan and why it should be considered a "blueprint" for their fellow Republicans.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate Select Committee on Tax Reform have approved their bill to restructure the state's tax code. 

The committee substitute for Senate Bill 335 was passed out of the committee Monday morning, the first step in its process to completion.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Editor's Note: This bill was revised by the Senate Select Committee on Tax Reform Monday, March 13. The revisions are explained in a new story on this website. 

Over the weekend, members of the Senate’s Select Committee on Tax Reform were presented with the latest version of a bill to overhaul West Virginia’s tax structure.

This is the third version of the legislation the 7 member committee has seen, but they’ve yet to take a vote on the measure. That vote, however, expected to come Monday.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate’s Select Committee on Tax Reform has started discussing the latest version of its bill to repeal West Virginia's personal income tax and replace it with an expanded consumption tax. 

The income tax provides nearly $2 billion in annual revenue for the state, but supporters of the provision say a broader sales tax on goods and services at a higher rate could replace that revenue, encouraging economic growth in the state. 

The committee discussed the bill for a second time Monday morning, but still have not been presented with a fiscal note detailing the shift of revenues. 


On The Legislature Today, the governor releases an alternative plan to balance the 2018 budget-- one legislative leaders seem more open to considering.

 

In the Senate, a bill to clarify the state’s right to work law gets a passing vote and in the House, delegates hold a public hearing to address changed to the state's water quality standards.

The Senate's Select Committee on Tax Reform has yet to take up a bill that would phase out West Virginia's personal income tax and replace the revenues with an increased sales tax. That, however, hasn't stopped the bill from becoming one of the most talked about at the statehouse this session.

Sen. Robert Karnes, the chair of that select committee, shares his take on the bill.

On The Legislature Today, the Senate's Select Committee on Tax Reform begins discussing the chair's plan to reform the state's tax code, shifting from a personal income tax to a broader consumer sales tax.

Ted Boettner with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and John Deskins with the Bureau for Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University discuss the potential benefits and risks to the plan and it impacts on West Virginians. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate Select Committee on Tax Reform is charged with finding a way to shift the state’s reliance on personal income tax revenue to dollars raised through increased consumption taxes. That’s according to Senate President Mitch Carmichael, who created the committee in January.

At their first meeting Friday, Carmichael told members he believes that West Virginia’s economic growth is hindered by its reliance on income taxes. 

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