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Governor: failure to pass income tax repeal would be ‘catastrophic’

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:58 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - A day after it was officially introduced in the Legislature, Governor Jim Justice continues to say his proposed repeal of the state income tax would be a game-changer for West Virginia.

Friday, at his fourth virtual town hall meeting in two weeks, the governor presented figures indicating West Virginia is the only state in the country to lose population in the past 60 years, although nearby states such as Ohio have lost population more recently.

And in response to a question from a Parkersburg resident, the governor predicted dire results if lawmakers don’t go along with his initial proposal of a 60% reduction in the income tax.

”A ‘no’ vote is basically a vote that would be telling people ‘we do not want you to have more money in your pocket, and we do not want you to have more opportunities than you have today’,” Justice said. “A ‘no’ vote would be catastrophic, in my book.”

The plan also includes increases in the state sales tax and energy severance taxes along with alcohol, soda and tobacco taxes-all to offset a loss in revenue from the income tax reduction. Justice says he’s opposed to raising property taxes.

Lawmakers from Wood County we’ve spoken to say the package would be a “heavy lift”.

The House of Delegates has received the bill and a House spokeswoman says it has begun to review it.

As of Friday, there are 36 days left in the 2021 legislative session.

JUSTICE SAYS HE’S OPPOSED TO RAISING PROPERTY TAXES.

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