Sharp Differences in West Virginia Revenue Bills; Sales Tax at 7.5 Percent?

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One of the biggest budget battles yet, will be setting the West Virginia consumer sales tax, which is currently 6 percent. The House of Delegates voted to keep it there, but the Senate voted to increase to nearly 7 percent, and could go as high as 7.5 percent.

“That’s a little bit ludicrous anyway. That will drive consumption across the state borders,” said State Sen. Roman Prezioso, (D) Minority Leader.

But if they raise the Sales Tax; expect another big fight over the income tax. The House is saying no, but Senate Republicans want a 20 percent reduction.

“A decrease in the income tax is what leads to job creation and economic growth, more so that any other change in the tax code. So that is our primary goal and something we’re going to stick to,” said State Sen. Ryan Ferns, (R) Majority Leader.

“Well I think right now we better leave income tax right where it is. It’s not a prudent decision to make, when we need more money, we shouldn’t be giving money back,” said State Sen. Doug Facemire, (D) Braxton.

There are areas of agreement. People on Social Security or Military Pensions would see their income tax eventually eliminated. And everyone who uses cell phones, would see their sales tax exemption go away, and the monthly service would be taxed.

“We want to give the revenue that’s generated from that back to the citizens, in terms of a reduction in their personal income tax and a reduction in the Social Security taxes,” said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Majority Leader.

“After passing it’s revenue bill on Friday, House members took an unpaid day off today. Both chambers will be back in session Tuesday morning, to see if they can begin a compromise on these revenue and budget issues,” said Mark Curtis, 59 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis.

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