On day six of the Special Legislative Session, there is some progress. The House finance committee approved a revenue bill, but a tough road lies ahead. The House keeps the sales tax at the current 6 percent, but the Senate voted for nearly seven percent. Both chambers want to reduce income taxes on social security and military pensioners. The big difference: the Senate voted to cut everyone’s income tax 20 percent, but the House isn’t going along.
“Well the income tax reduction, the ship has sailed out of the Senate. It’s landed in the House and we’ll see how it docks,” said Del. Eric Nelson, (R) Chairman, Finance Committee.
Some Republicans and many Democrats, are arguing for higher taxes.
“Of course I am going to support some of the revenue measures because we don’t have enough income coming into this state at this present time, to pay our bills,” said Del. Richard Iaquinta, (D) Harrison.
The Governor’s call to increase gasoline taxes to pay for roads, is in trouble, especially in border counties.
“A rise in the gas tax sends everyone across the border immediately. So I have reservations about it,” said Del. Mark Zatezalo, (R) Hancock.
With the two chambers far apart, one lawmakers says everyone should go home, with only the leadership staying at the Capitol.
“It’s time that we lock everybody in a room, that needs to make the decisions. they come up with an idea, submit it to the whole body, and we vote on it. but we don’t need to be wasting the taxpayers money any more and they need to send us home,” said Del. Andrew Byrd, (D) Kanawha.
“Because the Senate already passed the Governor’s Revenue Bill most members of this chamber have gone home, The budget ball is now clearly in the court of the House of Delegates,” said 59 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis.