Release from Thrasher for Governor:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Woody Thrasher is encouraging West Virginians to get out their calculators to double-check the claims from last week that West Virginia’s spike in revenue collection means the state is leading the nation in job growth and economic activity.
A federal government report indicates otherwise.
“This is not job creation or true economic growth,” Thrasher said. “Anyone who has followed these numbers knows this is the typical revenue cycle, and if you removed our oil and gas industry and met coal activity from the equation, we would be in huge trouble; it’s proof we need to diversify our economy.
“We are not on a rocket-ship ride to the top, and it’s time for more of us to tell this emperor he isn’t wearing any clothes.”
West Virginia has had an increase in severance tax collection due to the typical energy cycles and surging met coal demand. There are still many moving parts in regard to our new federal tax laws that may account for some of the increases in state tax revenue, including a new digital tax in the state, and nowhere in these numbers is there evidence of tangible, sustainable growth for our state.
“It’s typical for a Democratic politician to sing the praises of tax money coming into the state, but a true, conservative Republican would be looking at how to get that money back to those of us who pay our taxes,” Thrasher said.
A Bureau of Economic Analysis from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows West Virginia’s GDP growth as sluggish in 2018, and the growth in GDP from the first quarter of 2017 through the fourth quarter of 2018 for West Virginia was ranked 29th in the country.
From the third to fourth quarter of this year, West Virginia saw a .08 percent decline in transportation, .11 percent decline in construction, .16 percent decline in retail trade and a .37 percent decline in finance and insurance. Durable goods and manufacturing saw a paltry .22 percent growth.