We are not wholly convinced that Gov. Jim Justice and the GOP side of the aisle at the state capital fully appreciate what they can do to help stoke the fires of a rebounding economy. They seem to think the road to prosperity is paved by a business inventory tax cut of some $20 million per year over the next seven years.
A million here, a million there, pretty soon you are talking about real dollars. In this case, some $140 million less. That’s a lot of tax revenue to take off the table in what can only be described, in the most optimistic of terms, as a tepid economic recovery in a state where educational outcomes are being lapped by nearly every other state in the country.
While we are not big fans of the business tax, we know that to feed, build and sustain the growth of the economy, the state needs to invest real dollars – and not empty slogans – in its people, rehabilitating “human capital” through improved educational outcomes and treatment for opioid drug addiction.
We believe all other conversations are subordinate, and this particular debate needs to recognize that – on the education side of the equation – a 1 percent teacher pay hike is, as it has been offered and described, a slap in the face.
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