For Immediate Release: February 23, 2022
Contact: Renee Alves, 559-916-5939
Charleston, WV – For the second year in a row, Governor Jim Justice has proposed a “flat” budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, with only minor changes from the FY 2022 budget. While the state is currently enjoying large budget surpluses, those surpluses are the result of billions in federal aid, artificially low revenue estimates, and continued unpredictability from the pandemic. Despite the temporary nature of these surpluses, the West Virginia Legislature is pursuing permanent tax cuts that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, while continuing to neglect public programs and services that are in desperate need of investment. And once again, the governor did not include a six-year plan in the budget, leaving the future budget picture murky, and questions about potential budget deficits unanswered.
Our new issue brief, Flat Budgets, Flat Expectations: The West Virginia Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Proposal, examines how the state arrived at its current budget surplus (and why we should be wary of the surplus as an indicator of financial strength), the details of the FY 2023 proposed budget allocations, and how these spending plans could compromise the strength of future West Virginia state budgets. This brief was authored by WVCBP senior policy analyst, Sean O’Leary.
“West Virginia was fortunate to make it through another year of the pandemic and recession without any significant budget problems,” says O’Leary. “But without both federal aid and artificially low expectations, the surpluses the state is currently experiencing wouldn’t exist. And instead of using these temporary surpluses to make needed investments that benefit all Mountaineers and carefully plan for future budget requirements, West Virginia lawmakers are once again pursuing expensive and ineffective tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest in our state.”
You can read the full issue brief here.
We have a great newsletter, join below: