Gov. Justice submits personal income tax repeal plan

Read the abstract of Gov. Jim Justice’s proposal to decrease the personal income tax by clicking here

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday submitted to the West Virginia Legislature his state income tax repeal plan, which would cut state personal income taxes for West Virginia residents by 60 percent in its first year, while raising the consumer sales tax nearly 2 percent and also increasing severance taxes on oil, natural gas and coal, plus taxes on tobacco and alcohol products.

Justice introduced the idea in his State of the State Address, and has held multiple virtual town halls taking questions from West Virginia residents. He believes repealing the state income tax would help ignite the state’s economy by helping bring new businesses and residents to the state.

“We have all the building blocks in our state,” Gov. Justice said in the release announcing the bill’s submission. “We have an economy that’s truly on the launchpad, some of the greatest people you’ll find anywhere, who are smart, kind, faith-based, and hardworking people, along with four of the best seasons on Earth with more natural beauty than you could possibly imagine. But now we need to make a big move to put us over the top, so when people look at another population map 70 years from now, West Virginia will be right up there with the very top states in the country.

“The last piece of this puzzle is the elimination of our personal income tax. That’s why I am proposing a plan to make this dream a reality starting with a 60 percent reduction in state income tax for year one.”

Justice’s original plan was to reduce state income taxes by 50 percent in the first year, but the bill boosts that number to 60 percent. The reductions would come on income earned through wages and salaries, as well as pensions, annuities, IRAs, Social Security and unemployment. Those cuts would add up to about $1.035 billion.

To make up for it, the state consumer sales tax would move from 6 percent to 7.9 percent. Justice said that would put an extra $475 million into state coffers. There also would be a tiered luxury tax on certain big-ticket items. Items between $5,000 and $10,000 would be taxed at 3 percent, with tax percentages dropping with more expensive items. A purchase of more than $1 million would be taxed at 1 percent.

Justice also introduced tiered severance tax rates for coal, oil and natural gas, as well as increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, alcohol and soft drinks.


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