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Residents say yes to income tax repeal, no to raising other taxes

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - People who have lived in other states like the idea of West Virginia repealing its state income tax.

“I lived in Florida for 24 years and we didn’t have it down there,” says current Vienna resident John Wolfe, “and Florida seems to be doing just fine.”

What they don’t like is the idea of replacing it with increases in existing taxes, such as the state sales tax.

Says John Wolfe: “They should be trying to lower then, shouldn’t they? Doesn’t that make the economy better, make people spend more money?”

The Senate amendment to a bill the West Virginia House of Delegates previously passed also removes tax exemptions on a variety of services, ranging from legla services, to health and fitness centers-even the sale of lottery tickets.

“We don’t want to turn into California, because that seems to be their way; just keep raising taxes to pay for everything,” says Mike Stinespring, Vienna resident, who also has lived elsewhere. “And with a lot of people leaving that state now, because of the high taxes.”

And it restores the food tax, removed and reinstated twice in the past 40 years.

“So we’re going to pay more for food and gas and that kind of stuff,” notes Cindy Cain, Parkersburg resident. “I don’t see it helping that much.”

We asked Mike Stonespring: having done this before, would you consider leaving the state again?

“Yes...that’s definitely a consideration.”

The original House of Delegates bill called for no tax increases, but a longer phase-out of the income tax, with safeguards for economic and tax collection slowdowns.

The Senate version added the taxes, while shortening the phase-out.

The Senate delayed action on the bill Tuesday. It is now scheduled to vote on final passage of its version of the bill Wednesday.

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