Ashton Marra Published

Justice Meets with House Democrats Over Tax Reform Plan


Gov. Jim Justice spent hours caucusing with House Democrats Monday morning as a special budget session continued at the statehouse. 

House Minority Leader Tim Miley said the governor spent more than two hours discussing his latest plan to balance the 2018 budget.

Justice presented legislative leaders with a new proposal last week to increase the sales tax to 6.35 percent and get rid of a number of exemptions to increase revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

That increase, however, was paired with a reduction in personal income tax rates, totaling 20 percent over 3 years.

Miley said members of his caucus shared some concerns about the plan with the governor, particularly about a proposal to impose the sales tax on construction and renovation labor.

The minority leader said the governor may be willing to make some concessions in that area by adding an exemption for labor costs up to $15,000, but Miley is still looking for an overall package that results in growth.

“An ideal plan to me is one that makes sure the budget holes are going to be filled not just for 2018 but also the out 5 or 6 years,” he said. “Also, one that an economic benefit of growth in jobs.”

Miley added that job growth could come from the governor’s plan to increase the gasoline tax and fees at the Division of Motor Vehicles to pay for new road construction.