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Population loss a factor on taxes

West Virginia legislators, already talking about higher taxes to balance the state’s budget, should bear something in mind: As the cost of state government goes up and up and up, there are fewer Mountain State residents to cover the bill.

During the past year, West Virginia lost nearly 10,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Only seven other states suffered population losses during the period.

That leaves a total of 1,831,102 people living in the Mountain State, according to the Census estimate.

Many of them are not doing well, financially. That is lower than expected collections of personal income, sales and corporate taxes.

So there are fewer of West Virginians — and those left do not have very much money they can afford to send to Charleston.

Let us hope that when they convene for their annual 60-day session early next year, legislators keep that in mind.

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