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Don’t harm job providers in West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia legislators who are considering tax increases that would make it more difficult to do business in our state should focus on one line of the most recently released state revenue report.

Collections of state corporate income and business franchise taxes are vastly below projections for the year, the State Budget Office reports. By the end of February, eight months into the fiscal year, just $57.1 million of the $75.3 million expected had been collected.

That is just 76 percent of what state officials had estimated the tax would bring in by the end of February.

Consumer sales and use taxes, another barometer of business activity, also are lagging. Collections are just 93 percent of projections.

Under the banner of “tax reform,” a variety of proposals to change West Virginia’s revenue structure are being made in Charleston. The very last thing our state needs is making it more difficult for job providers to stay in business here.

Tax reformers, then, should adopt the physicians’ code of conduct: First, do no harm.

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