Posts by Sean O'Leary

March 2, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Sean O’Leary: Severance Tax Cuts Will Hurt Budget, Unlikely to Help Miners

Charleston Gazette - On Wednesday, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed two bills intended to boost coal production and put coal miners back to work. Unfortunately, delegates chose to do so in a very ineffective and expensive way, through cuts and rebates to the severance tax. Read op-ed. With little debate, the House passed…

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February 8, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Missed Opportunities: The West Virginia FY 2020 Proposed Budget

Governor Jim Justice’s FY 2020 budget includes new spending initiatives and pay raises while avoiding spending cuts as the state’s financial situation shows signs of stability. While the FY 2020 budget is an improvement after years of budget cuts, it represents a missed opportunity to reverse the damage of past mistakes and invest in a…

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February 7, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia Shale Development Falls Short of Economic Promise

The nearly six-fold increase in West Virginia’s natural gas production in the last decade, due largely to shale development, or fracking, has fallen short of expectations for economic growth, job creation, and tax revenue generation, according to a new report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the West Virginia…

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January 31, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Public Money for Private Schools: Education Savings Accounts Can Grow Costly While Doing Little to Improve Education

West Virginia legislators are considering enacting voucher-like programs to transfer tax-payer money to private schools. This week they introduced a proposal to create Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) as part of the omnibus education reform bill, SB 451, which would set public money aside for educational services, including private school tuition, textbooks and curriculum materials, private…

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January 15, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Analysis: Business Property-Tax Cut Wouldn’t Bring Jobs

Public News Service - The governor and legislative leaders again are considering repealing the personal property tax for businesses. Read full article. But according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, it's unlikely to bring job growth. Last year, lawmakers looked at ending that tax on inventory, machinery and equipment. Sean O'Leary, a senior…

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October 28, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
We Want Leaders Who Work for Our Communities

As an increasing number of young people turn away from the rural counties of southern West Virginia, it is not difficult to identify the factors at play. A recent report by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy shows rural West Virginians have poorer health, lower educational attainment levels, lower wages, are older and…

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October 23, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
State of Rural West Virginia

West Virginia's population is increasingly living in urban areas, with those urban areas experiencing all the state's job growth in the past quarter century, leaving rural West Virginia behind in many key areas, according to a new West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy report. State of Rural West Virginia shows rural West Virginians primarily have…

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October 22, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
A New Candidate Class: Schoolteachers Running for Office

Christian Science Monitor - When public school teachers in West Virginia heard last winter that their health insurance premiums would skyrocket, Brianne Solomon wasn’t sure anything could be done about it. Educators like her were grumbling, to be sure, but their union’s clout in this right-to-work state was questionable. Read. 

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October 19, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
Tax Issues in West Virginia

WOWK-TV - Sean O'Leary, of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, talks to Mark Curtis about a new report that shows there's room improve West Virginia's upside-down tax system. Watch here.  

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