Budget Beat

November 1, 2019 by WVCBP
It’s Time to Raise the Natural Gas Severance Tax

What if we used the wealth from our natural resources to invest in a brighter future for West Virginians instead of sending that wealth out of state? Our new video out this week shows all the investments we could make in our people and communities if the natural gas severance tax was raised. This tax…

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October 18, 2019 by WVCBP
PILOT Agreements Cost State Millions in Tax Revenue

A Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreement is a property tax abatement where a company (sometimes a non-profit) agrees to make annual payments to local governments instead of paying the property taxes it would normally owe. Usually these payments are just a fraction of what otherwise would have been paid over the time of…

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October 11, 2019 by WVCBP
Food for All Coalition Adopts 2020 Priorities

On a beautiful day yesterday in Summersville, West Virginia, over 100 people from across the state and beyond came together for the second annual Food For All coalition meeting. Participants briefly celebrated victories from 2019 and then got to work planning a bold vision to make Food for All a reality in West Virginia through…

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October 4, 2019 by WVCBP
Medicaid Block Grants are Just Cuts By Another Name

Earlier this year, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma and the Trump Administration began encouraging states to apply for "block grant" waivers for their Medicaid programs. These waivers would allow states to bypass federal standards and beneficiary protections in exchange for agreeing to caps on the federal Medicaid funding they receive.…

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September 27, 2019 by WVCBP
West Virginia’s Personal Income Growth Cause for Concern, Not Celebration

Earlier this year, Governor Justice, as well as the Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fact that West Virginia had the nation's highest personal income growth in country in the first quarter of 2019, using the single data point as proof that their preferred policies were growing the economy. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce went…

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September 20, 2019 by WVCBP
Protect SNAP Benefits in West Virginia

Please take a moment to comment on a proposed change to a key SNAP (food stamps) rule which, if implemented, would take away basic food assistance from an estimated 3.1 million people, mainly working families with children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. The SNAP proposal would take over $19 million annually out of our state…

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September 13, 2019 by WVCBP
Gains in Access to Health Care Appear Stalled

U.S. Census data out this week show gains in health care coverage in West Virginia since the passage of Obamacare have stalled. Despite the state's positive job growth in 2018, the was no reduction in the number of uninsured West Virginians. With an estimated 114,000 West Virginians without health coverage, it is imperative that policymakers…

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September 6, 2019 by WVCBP
Setting Record Straight on West Virginia’s Job Growth Numbers

While West Virginia's economy is improving and some industries are growing, most of the growth it tied to temporary natural gas pipeline construction. In order to get a clear picture of West Virginia's jobs picture, it is imperative to use the employment data correctly and not to inflate numbers or link them to policies that…

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August 30, 2019 by WVCBP
Wage Theft Costs West Virginia Workers Millions Annually

Wage theft is one of the most prevalent but under-reported problems confronting low-wage workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the estimated value of wages stolen through violations of federal and state minimum wage laws was $15 billion in 2015, easily eclipsing the $12.7 billion stolen through all reported robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and car thefts…

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August 23, 2019 by WVCBP
Diapering the Devil – It’s Time to Raise the Natural Gas Severance Tax

West Virginians have something to learn from Alaskans. Several years ago, Jay Hammond, the Republican governor of Alaska from 1974-1982, wrote a memoir called "Diapering the Devil," about how Alaska turned its rich oil assets into an everlasting source of wealth by creating the Alaska Permanent Fund. During the 1970s, when Hammond was asked how…

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