CHARLESTON – Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, stressed the importance of giving the Senate’s tax reform plan full and fair consideration as leadership from the House of Delegates and the Senate met today with the Governor.
The Senate’s version of HB 107 would have provided a personal income tax decrease for all working West Virginians, eliminated the tax on Social Security income for seniors with incomes of less than $75,000, and eliminated the tax on pensions for military veterans. Additionally, it provided a tiered system of coal severance tax reductions to provide a boost the state’s struggling coal producers. The plan also called for the sales tax to increase from 6 percent to 7.25 percent, which would provide an immediate boost to the state’s General Revenue Fund and would enable the Legislature to pass a budget that held the line on spending for Fiscal Year 2018.
“For the third time, the Senate stood strong and passed what we believe is the strongest, most transformational path to move West Virginia forward,” Senate President Carmichael said. “Through our efforts during the session, we were able to convince the Governor that reduction in personal income tax was a true benefit to West Virginians, and the kind of bold change that could jump start growth and opportunity. We’ve met some resistance along the way, and we’ve taken the concerns of our fellow Senators and House members into consideration. I think the pieces we have in place now make this a true win for every hardworking man and woman in West Virginia, and it gives our seniors and our military the benefit they deserve.”
A West Virginia resident who makes $30,000 per year would see an income tax reduction of $390 annually. Even with an increase in the consumer sales tax and removing the exemption on telecommunications (cell phones), the net savings still is $229.
“There is no way to deny that this plan puts money back into the hands of people, and gives individuals the freedom to choose how they spend their dollars,” Senate President Carmichael said. “We’re enabling each and every working West Virginian to have more control over their paycheck, and instead of sending that money directly to the government, it stays with them, to be spent at home, at their discretion.”
The House of Delegates refused to concur with the Senate’s changes to HB 107. A Conference Committee will be appointed when the Legislature reconvenes in Extraordinary Session on June 5.