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Rep. Mooney: Lower it and they will come


The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — One way to boost West Virginia and other state’s economy: lower corporate and personal income tax rates at the same time, said W.Va. Representative Alex Mooney.

Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.
(Journal file photo)

As both houses of Congress gear up to again take on tax reform, Mooney, in a wide ranging interview with the Journal on Monday, said corporate tax cuts will encourage new companies to set up shop in the Mountain State, while cutting personal income rates will free up consumer spending while encouraging small businesses to hire more workers and invest.

“It all relates to bringing good paying jobs to West Virginia,” Mooney said. “You cut the (income) taxes, you cut the regulation, if you repeal the expensive health care, I think that will bring paying jobs to our state.”

Current U.S. corporate tax rates discourage companies from making capital investments, Mooney said.

According to Mooney, under the House of Representatives’ proposed new plan, the highest corporate tax would be around 20 percent, down from the current cap of 35 percent. However other proposals placing its between 15 and 24 percent are also being considered.

“That’s not good for our state, for our country,” Mooney said. “You lower it back down to 15 or 20 percent, a lot of businesses will come here. You might see more jobs — more economic opportunity — if you lower the (corporate) tax rate.”

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Mooney said small business operators he meets invariably ask for more relaxed federal regulations to free up small business investment.

“They feel that a lot of the federal government regulations prevent them from making small business loans,” Mooney said.

According to Mooney, cultivating small businesses growth can help offset the state’s coal industry job loss.

“We have to look for ways to bring small businesses here — 20 to 30 jobs at a time,” Mooney said. “That’s one of things that we’re working on with tax reform here — to cut taxes on businesses and corporations.”

In tandem with corporate tax cuts, Mooney claims a paring down of personal income rates will spur both consumer spending and small business investment.

The specifics of the new personal income tax plan are still in the works, however Mooney said the plan would likely cut the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to three that would carry rates of 12, 25 and 35 percent.

“That will boost the economy again,” Mooney said. “Small businesses — a restaurant chain, an accounting firm — might hire another person or two.”

Those proposed cuts notwithstanding, Mooney claimed West Virginia already offers corporations attractive economic development conditions, pointing to the Procter & Gamble production facility at Tabler Station in Berkeley County slated to open in 2018.

“We do have businesses that do move here,” Mooney said. “P&G moving to the Martinsburg area is a wonderful thing that’s not seen in a lot of other counties in West Virginia. It’s 700 new paying jobs. A lot of people choose to live here because it’s an economically efficient place to live. And a company like P&G can come here and get land at a good price.”

Staff writer Jim McConville can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 215, or Twitter@jmcconvilleJN.

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