CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Leaders of the House of Delegates Liberty Caucus today said they will strongly oppose the tax-increase plan Gov. Jim Justice and Senate leaders want to try and push through the Legislature next week.
“For years we have fought efforts to raise taxes and grow government, and the plan the Governor and Senate are trying to push would do just that,” said Delegate Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock. “While we like the idea of lowering the income tax, the idea of offsetting it with even higher sales and business taxes will only hurt our economy – particularly in border areas.”
The Governor’s staff has repeatedly cited the House’s medical marijuana vote as evidence several Republicans could break from leadership to vote for this plan. Delegate Michael Folk, R-Berkeley, who helped lead that effort, said that’s not going to happen this time around.
“Comparing the medical cannabis vote to an effort to raise taxes is like comparing apples to oranges,” Delegate Folk said. “The medical marijuana vote was about compassion and personal liberty – raising taxes is not compassionate and robs people of their liberty and property.”
The Liberty Caucus supported the budget that passed the House in the regular session. They also introduced their own budget plan that does not raise taxes, but included things like a 2-percent teacher pay raise.
“We’re not about just saying, ‘No.’ We’ve put alternatives on the table,” Delegate McGeehan said. “We need to work together to find a way that balances our budget without taking more money out of people’s pockets.”
The West Virginia House of Delegates Liberty Caucus is a group of roughly a dozen legislators committed to reducing bureaucracy, preventing increased taxation, advancing free enterprise and defending private property.