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Delegate Gearheart statement on Governor Justice decision on state park fees

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – House Roads and Transportation Committee Chairman Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, today applauded Gov. Jim Justice for recognizing that West Virginia families are struggling financially, and called on him to abandon his proposals for massive tax increases.

“Last night, the Governor said<>, ‘West Virginians are struggling and at this time there is no way I can go along with charging a fee to enjoy our state parks,'” Delegate Gearheart said. “I’m happy he’s finally realized the plight of working West Virginians and ask him today to reconsider his proposals to levy massive tax increases on our people.

“The Governor continues to belittle members of the House of Delegates who are opposed to his tax increases, yet he himself admits our people cannot afford higher taxes and fees – the very argument we’ve been making since he first proposed these tax increases back in February,” Delegate Gearheart said.

“If West Virginians can’t afford a $2 fee to enter our state parks, how can they possibly afford the Governor’s higher gas taxes and higher and continued tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike to travel there? Or the doubled DMV fees it takes to even drive their car? Or the higher sales taxes to pay for the tent and sleeping bags they camp with?

“The Governor can’t have it both ways – either West Virginians are struggling and can’t afford higher taxes and fees, or they aren’t and they can,” Delegate Gearheart said. “I have heard loud and clear the cries of people in my district who say they can’t afford the Governor’s plan. I think it’s now time the Governor listens to his own rhetoric and works with us on a budget that respects our taxpayers and truly protects them from higher taxes and fees.”

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