Briana Heaney Published

W.Va. Joins 39 Other States Without Social Security Tax

Older Asian couple sits on a couch looking over financial documuments.
The initial 2019 tax cut was phased out over three years like this one will be. Legislators said the three-year phase out was to lessen the initial blow on the budget.
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Single filers who made over $50,000 per year, and joint filers who made over $100,000 per year used to have to pay taxes on social security income. However the legislature passed, and the governor signed, a bill that will eliminate the tax for all earners.

Gaylene Miller, state director for AARP says this will affect the more than 50,000 West Virginians who were paying Social Security tax. 

“We heard loud and clear from our members that that’s double taxation,” Miller said. “They paid on that income when they were in the workforce. Social Security, thankfully, was never intended to fund the state government.”

The cut will take place over the course of three years, progressively cutting down how much Social Security earners pay each year. The law is backdated to cover all of 2024. 

Some lawmakers raised questions around the bill asking if it was a worthy expenditure on the premise that retirees are not as beneficial to the state’s economy as working age individuals. And that this money could be used elsewhere to attract and retain working age West Virginians to the state. However, Miller said this tax cut will likely be recycled back into local economies. 

“Those folks who get this meaningful tax relief will spend it in the community. So, it’s being reinvested,” Miller said. “It’s an attraction for retirees to come to West Virginia as well.” 

The cut will put West Virginia in line with all of its border states of Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania that have no tax on Social Security.