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At the WV Legislature: Senate Democrats cite unanimous, bipartisan support for Senate tax plan

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Senate’s Democrats issued the following statement on Wednesday:

Today the Senate met to consider meaningful tax relief for West Virginians.

The Senate plan would result in an immediate 15% personal income tax cut, plus rebates for personal vehicle taxes, small business equipment and inventory taxes, and homestead property taxes for service-disabled veterans. In out years, a 105% improvement of sales tax revenue over the previous year would trigger additional income tax cuts.

“The House of Delegates’ version of the tax plan relies on unfounded financial assumptions. Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered a skyrocketing of coal and natural gas severance tax revenues. There is no rational basis to predict this level of revenue will be sustained,” said Senate Minority Leader Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell). “West Virginia has been showered with one-time federal CARES Act Money and ARPA money. The influx of these millions provides the mere illusion of prosperity in our future. I fully support the Senate legislation.”

Senator Mike Caputo (D-Marion) raised objections to the fast-tracking of the plan. “We still have 30+ days of Session left. I don’t see why we had to suspend rules and pass the bill the day it’s originated in committee. I voted for the bill because it’s the best plan we’ve seen, but I would have liked to have given it a more thorough review. A bill of this magnitude concerns me; I would have preferred the Republican leadership would have chosen not to fast-track it so I could have had more time to hear from my constituents. I am, however, happy to vote for a tax cut for the people.”

Senator Robert Plymale (D-Wayne) agreed that the bill is the best plan Democrats have seen put before them. “Tying further income tax reduction to sales tax income is smart,” he said. “Sales tax is a good indicator of true growth, and I appreciate that we are considering much-needed relief in a responsible manner. This strengthens West Virginia’s position for future economic development growth.”

The committee substitute for Senate Bill 424 passed the Senate unanimously.

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