OpEds

August 20, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Ted Boettner: Time to Raise 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. Read op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. During the…

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August 11, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Title X Care Essential to Rural Areas

No one should live without access to health care. But fulfilling that principle requires helping our population overcome many of obstacles in West Virginia, including our high poverty rate and our state’s rural landscape. Nineteen percent of our state’s population lives in poverty, the fourth-highest rate in the nation- and the poverty rates are even…

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July 12, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Wells, Allen: What Better Investment for Surplus than Census?

In under nine months, the decennial Census will begin, with a goal of enumerating, or counting, all who live in West Virginia. The Census determines how much political representation we get at the state and federal levels and how much federal investment comes to West Virginia for programs that fund highways, school lunches, health care,…

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May 18, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Sean O’Leary: Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act Hasn’t Kept Its Promises

It has been over a year since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and despite efforts from its proponents to massage the data and deceive the public about its effects, it’s clear that TCJA has completely failed to deliver on its promises, and has left the nation worse off. Link to…

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April 15, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen: Time to Re-Evaluate How People Are Taxed

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Just like voting, paying taxes is a civic duty and a shared expression of our representative democracy. Our taxes allow us to achieve together what any one of us would never be able to accomplish individually or through charity. Link to article. Inscribed above the entrance of the Internal Revenue Service building…

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April 7, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Kunkel, Boettner: Money Doesn’t Fall Up in West Virginia

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Reflecting on the legislative session that ended last month, one topic was never directly addressed even though it underlies many of the issues that became key topics of the session, from foster care to raises for school employees: West Virginia’s growing economic inequality. Link to article. In West Virginia, the top 1 percent…

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March 30, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Wells, Boettner: The Census is Coming: Make it Count

Charleston Gazette - Imagine if filling out one form could determine where schools, roads and hospitals are built, how many federal dollars are sent to your community, and your amount of political representation. That form exists — it’s the census, and the opportunity to be counted only comes around every 10 years. Read online. In fiscal…

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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 23, 2019 by Seth DiStefano
Seth DiStefano: WV Should Cut Taxes for Struggling Workers, not Millionaires

In his State of the State address, Gov. Jim Justice proposed cutting taxes for West Virginians by repealing a state tax on Social Security income. While the governor’s proposal is being touted as a “middle class” tax cut, it mostly benefits wealthy retirees while doing little for those who struggle to make ends meet. A…

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February 8, 2019 by Ted Boettner
High Cost of Low Corporate Taxes

Beckley Register-Herald - While education reform is the big topic at the legislature this year, the governor and GOP leadership are moving forward with more big tax cuts that will mostly benefit wealthy out-of-state corporations. This would make it harder for the state to invest in the important public services that provide a foundation for our…

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