CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s State Senate will consider a plan that could greatly alter the tax funding of the Mountain State. Up for debate now is a bill to eliminate the state’s Business Inventory and Equipment Tax. The funding would be replaced by a half-penny increase in the state sales tax to six-and-a-half percent. Tobacco taxes would go up 80-cents per pack of cigarettes. Advocates say it will help the state’s economy.
“90 percent of the businesses in West Virginia have less than 100 employees. We have a lot of small places, small businesses. All of those places are going to benefit and that’s a good thing, ” said State Sen. Rollan Roberts, (R) Raleigh.
But critics say counties and local school boards depend on the business inventory tax for state aid, and they worry businesses are getting tax breaks, while many individuals will see increases.
“There’s no question. The burden goes back on the citizens of West Virginia. And it amounts to about $300 million dollars that we’ve got to find in this budget and it doesn’t seem like it’s there,” said State Sen. Roman Prezioso, (D) Marion – Minority Leader.
Also in the plan, increasing the tax on vaping products, while personal property taxes on cars would be reduced.
“Of course, making some of these tax changes will require amending the West Virginia Constitution. That will take a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, and then citizens would get to cast their votes,” said Mark Curtis, 59 News Chief Political Reporter.