Tax Reform

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate's Select Committee on Tax Reform has voted once again to make changes to a revenue bill being floated back and forth between the House and Senate, and the committee chair says members of his caucus will not budge when it comes to their plan to eventually repeal the state's personal income tax.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House are standing their ground when it comes to tax reform. At least, that’s what House Speaker Tim Armstead said Friday after a vote in the chamber on its own version of a revenue bill.

The bill does not include any of the changes to the personal income tax Senate Republicans and Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to, but Armstead said that doesn’t mean his chamber isn’t still willing to work on a compromise.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee voted almost unanimously in favor of their version of a revenue bill Thursday afternoon, one that looks drastically different than one the Senate approved earlier this week.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After attempting to rally members of the Senate around his tax reform plan Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice decided to also formally address members of the House of Delegates Wednesday.

Senators have already approved the measure to significantly alter the state’s tax code, but with only Republican support. Justice largely focused on his disappointment with Senate Democrats in his speech to the House.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate has approved a bill that would drastically restructure the state’s tax code in the hopes of balancing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The plan has the support of Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Jim Justice, who switched parties before announcing his bid for the office. The bill is, however, losing its previous support from Democrats and will meet some serious opposition in the House.

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.

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