Local Senator explains vote on income tax repeal bill

WTAP News @ 5 - Senator defends committee vote in favor of tax repeal plan
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - Sen. Donna Boley has been the subject of criticism over her vote earlier this week to advance the West Virginia Senate’s version of a state income tax repeal plan from the Senate Finance Committee.

You’ve probably seen the ads criticizing Boley for that decision to advance the bill, which, unlike a measure in the House of Delegates, includes a number of tax increases.

The Senate bill essentially changes the House bill, in that it adds a number of taxes and fees, including a return to the often-controversial food tax.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric Tarr defended the changes, saying it means the income tax could be repealed over a shorter period of time.

The House bill, as we reported earlier, relies on state budget surpluses to make up lost tax revenues, and is to repeal the tax over more than a decade.

Boley told WTAP’s Todd Baucher she was initially against any new taxes, but that the bill that narrowly was voted out of committee is a compromise.

”As I sat there and listened during the first caucus, I told Eric (Tarr) I couldn’t vote for it, along with five other senators. But then, we went in and heard the debate, and agreed to at least get it to the floor, and let us get it into a conference with the House. So somewhere along the line, I decided to vote to get it into the conference.”

It’s not certain at this point when the full Senate will vote on the measure. Boley says while the finance committee passed it on, the bill has not yet been reported to the Senate floor.

If the full Senate approved the measure with the changes, a House-Senate conference committee, as Boley indicated, would have to work on a compromise bill.

Boley said she’s not certain the Senate bill has the votes to get full passage.

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