From the W.Va. State Senate:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Senate Thursday night passed Senate Bill 1017 and Senate Bill 1018, a full tax reform and budget package that helps to place the state on better financial footing, provides tax relief for lower- and fixed-income West Virginians, and avoids severe cuts to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
Senate Bill 1017, relating generally to the Tax Reform Act of 2017, passed the Senate by a vote of 30-2. It provides for a reduction of the personal income tax by 5 percent per year for four years, providing there are certain economic triggers that are met. Additionally, the bill:
- Phases out over two years the income tax on Social Security for individuals with incomes of less than $75,000;
- Exempts military retirement from personal income tax;
- Increases the personal income tax exemption to $2,500 for individuals with incomes of less than $50,000;
- Authorizes rebates of 2016 personal income tax of $150 for individuals with less than $10,000 of income and $100 for individuals with between $10,000 and $25,000 of income;
- Increases amount of credit allowed against personal and corporation net income taxes for qualified building rehabilitation expenditures from 10 percent to 25 percent.
“It has taken a tremendous amount of hard work and compromise from our Senators to come to this moment,” Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said. “Throughout the session, we spent countless hours presenting our plan to Governor Justice and our fellow legislators, and I am thankful the Governor has truly come to realize the benefits of the Senate’s position. I sincerely hope that the House of Delegates will fully consider everything this proposal has to offer, and see that in this version, we’ve truly provided a framework for success and benefit to those West Virginians who need it most.”
Senate Bill 1018, the Governor’s most recent version of the Fiscal 2018 Budget Bill, provides a $4.349 billion General Revenue budget. The bill passed by a vote of 29-2. It includes several items that have come out of negotiations during the Extraordinary Session, including:
- A 2 percent teacher pay raise;
- $15 million to Save Our State Fund;
- No cuts to Medicaid’s medical services line;
- Modest cuts to higher education
“This most recent budget, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, protects our most critical services while doing its part to control government spending,” Senate President Carmichael said. “I am confident that this budget will provide the state with the stability it needs for the next fiscal year, and will put us in position to continue to look for ways to operate more efficiently. Most importantly, it does as we promised: It keeps spending in line, and it lays a foundation for growth and change.”
Both bills have been sent to the House of Delegates for consideration.