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Editorial: W.Va. can’t cut taxes and meet infrastructure needs

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail

Legislators and state officials have been talking a lot lately about the condition of secondary roads and the future of the personal property tax on business equipment and inventory. They treat the personal property tax as something that must be taken care of immediately. They see the condition of secondary roads as a problem with no solution, and thus they try to ignore it. Legislators and state officials have it backwards.

First, the property tax on business. The Republican leadership in both houses of the Legislature has been talking about the need to eliminate the tax as a way of making West Virginia more competitive in growing or attracting businesses. They say no state bordering West Virginia imposes this tax on businesses, and that keeps jobs and growth out of the state.

They may have a point there. Individuals who move to West Virginia from other states wonder why they must pay a tax year after year on their vehicles. Businesses here wonder why they should bear this burden when they would not have to in other states. It’s a valid question, but also a complicated one. …

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