West Virginia has the 4th-highest child poverty rate in the country. Children living in poverty face lower educational achievement, maltreatment and other obstacles that affect them for the rest of their lives. Reducing child poverty has a price tag less than recent tax cuts for corporations and would do more to benefit the families of this state helping our children become healthier, more productive adults. Read more in Sean’s blog post.
If you have a story to share about your experiences with SNAP or Medicaid please contact Candice Maxell. Please share this project with anyone you know who may have a story to tell.
On Monday, Senior Policy Analyst Sean O’Leary and Policy Outreach Director Seth DiStefano went live to discuss frequently asked topics about tax policy. Here is a link to a video of their conversation.
Taxes build our roads and bridges. Taxes save lives by providing health care and discouraging people from smoking. Taxes give our children an education and ensure that hungry bellies don’t get in the way of learning. Taxes pay firefighters and social workers. Taxes fuel innovation by providing money for basic research, such as the parts of the smart phone that make it smart, including GPS, the Internet, touch screens, voice recognition (Siri), and Google’s search engine algorithm. Read more in Kelly’s op-ed: Time to Re-Evaluate How People are Taxed.
With lawsuits pending before the West Virginia Supreme Court, natural gas companies await legal decisions that could reduce the amount of severance tax they pay in West Virginia.
Cutting the severance tax would greatly impact energy-producing counties like Doddridge and Wetzel, taking away vital resources that currently fund schools and road improvements.
“The property tax, like the severance tax, is one of the most important ways that we can insure that the state and its people benefit from natural gas extraction. While the economic promises of the industry have fallen short, the property tax helps make sure that local governments aren’t left holding the bag,” stated Sean O’Leary, WVCBP Senior Policy Analyst.
Increased severance tax revenue and spikes in construction job numbers created by the current natural gas boom are not permanent fixes to our state’s economy. As the temporary natural gas pipeline construction peak fades and recent tax cuts go into effect, lawmakers may have to make deep cuts to the state budget unless they raise taxes. Cutting the severance tax on top of this will only further exacerbate future budget woes. Read more in Jessie and Ted’s blog post.
Joining the ranks of this year’s 100 most influential people in Time magazine were Emily Comer and Jay O’Neil, West Virginia teachers and union activists who were leaders in last year’s teacher’s strike. They are credited with sparking a national movement and bringing attention to the need to more adequately invest in our teachers and schools.
The U.S. is an increasingly unequal society: the average CEO makes nearly 800 times more than the average worker, and the wealthiest 1% of households own 40% of the wealth. It is impossible to have a functioning democracy when so few people control so much wealth.
Join us on May 19 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Temple Israel (2312 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston) for a free workshop with Les Leopold, director of the Labor Institute and author of “Runaway Inequality,” to explore what inequality has to do with our current political situation and how people across the political spectrum can find common cause to fight for a fair economy. Register here.
Les will also lead a “Runaway Inequality” book talk on Monday, May 20, 6pm at Taylor Books (226 Capitol St, Charleston) to lead a discussion on:
What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure?
How does the US really compare with other developed countries?
What does economic inequality have to do with other critical issues, including education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade and war?
What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society?