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Gov. Justice explains income tax elimination in town hall meeting

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 12:07 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:13 PM EST
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Governor Jim Justice fielded questions from the public in a one-hour virtual town hall meeting Monday afternoon.

The topic: a proposal to ultimately eliminate West Virginia’s state income tax, a proposal he made earlier this month in his State of the State address.

He called it an opportunity to improve the state’s business climate, noting other efforts in the past decade haven’t worked.

Those include a Right to Work law and elimination of the prevailing wage, both championed by the state legislature after Republicans took over the body in 2015.

While wanting to eliminate the state income tax, the state budget’s largest revenue source, Justice did not rule out raising other taxes, although not right away.

”We’ll have to raise a tax here and there-not going forward now-there’s no question we’ll have to do some of that,” the governor said. “But at the end of the day, what I want to have happen here is, absolutely, as best as I can possibly make this happen, I want the people of this state’s net tax burden to go down.”

Justice also suggested the idea of a second “rainy day” fund, using surplus funds currently in the state’s budget.

He announced the town hall just hours before its scheduled 3 P.M. start-during his S COVID-19 briefing Monday morning, but added another virtual meeting could be held as soon as Wednesday, possibly at night.

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Original story: 12:00 P.M. 2/22/21

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - Gov. Jim Justice announced this morning he will hold a virtual town hall on his proposal to repeal West Virginia’s income tax.

At his State of the State address earlier this month, the governor proposed cutting the state tax in half in 2021, before eventually eliminating it altogether.

The town hall will begin at 3 P.M., and will be streamed live on our WTAP Facebook page. Justice will answer as many pre-submitted questions as time allows.

CLICK HERE to submit a question or call the Governor’s Office at 304-558-2000 and a receptionist will take down your question.

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