John Raby, Associated Press Published

W.Va. Governor Again Floats Idea Of Income Tax Cuts

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jim Justice in 2018 at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday that he will announce yet another proposal next week to cut taxes.

Justice did not provide specifics during his weekly coronavirus hearing Wednesday. The Republican is scheduled to give his State of the State address to the Legislature on Jan. 11.

“I want everybody to stay really close in tune to what we say that night,” he said. “Absolutely, we’ll be announcing the biggest tax cuts in the history of this state, hands down.”

Senate GOP leaders are expected to offer their own proposals.

Justice and lawmakers have been at odds on how to cut taxes for nearly two years.

The governor proposed a permanent 10% reduction in the personal income tax in July after the state ended the fiscal year with a record $1.3 billion surplus. The state Senate refused to take up proposal during a special session that month.

In October, Justice came up with another plan, saying he wanted to eliminate a personal property tax that residents pay every year on vehicles. That proposal was floated before voters in November rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have given lawmakers the ability to eliminate a business and inventory tax along with the personal property vehicle tax.

Justice’s ideas for tax cuts go back to his State of the State address in February 2021. Shortly after he began his second term, the governor proposed chopping the personal income tax in half for most earners. The proposal died in the Legislature shortly before the session ended.

State general revenue collections for December were $145.6 million above estimates, while collections for the fiscal year that began in July were $833 million above estimates.