Associated Press Published

Senate Votes to Overhaul State Tax System


West Virginia’s Senate has voted to overhaul the state tax system by raising the state sales and use tax to 7 percent and applying it more broadly while cutting state income tax rates.

The bill pushed by the chamber’s Republicans passed 22-12.

The latest revised bill would cut the top income tax rate from 6.5 to 5.45 percent.

The lowest rate would drop from 3 percent to 1.85 percent.

Sen. Robert Karnes, an Upshur County Republican and chief sponsor, says other states that cut income taxes are growing economically and several economists say consumption taxes encourage savings and capital formation.

Sen. Mike Woelfel, a Huntington Democrat, says the proposed overhaul benefits the rich while undercutting the middle class and especially the working poor.

It would tax food at 3.5 percent.