Blog Posts > Passage of HB 2526 Fiscally Reckless, Comes at Cost of Years of Needed Investments
March 7, 2023

Passage of HB 2526 Fiscally Reckless, Comes at Cost of Years of Needed Investments

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2023

Contact: Renee Alves, (559)-916-5939

Charleston, WV – Rather than utilizing state revenues to create shared prosperity by investing in programs and services that benefit all West Virginians, HB 2526 enacts permanent tax cuts that undermine public investments and further rig our tax system for the wealthy. Nearly two out of every three dollars of the legislation’s personal income tax cuts go to the top 20 percent of households, while the other tax provisions blatantly override the will of West Virginia voters by enacting a workaround of rejected Amendment 2 business tax cuts.

Just like with previous tax cut efforts, lawmakers prioritized pursuit of a better business climate ranking–which itself has little do with the realities of doing business–rather than investing in the families and workers who already call West Virginia home. This legislation will undermine investments in our schools, health care, and infrastructure. In fact, it’s already having negative impacts on public investments. For four years, lawmakers have prioritized flat, austerity budgets that have resulted in a public employees’ insurance crisis, crisis-level public agency vacancies, and unacceptable levels of child poverty and children in foster care. While lawmakers touted “surpluses” as evidence of the state’s strong economy, numerous bills and budget requests for funding for services that would help families and workers were denied or altogether ignored.

Finally, the surpluses supposedly justifying these tax cuts are a house of cards that is about to fall. These permanent tax cuts for the wealthy rely on underfunded public services, temporarily high energy prices, and one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding. When these factors subside, state lawmakers will find themselves in an untenable situation, forced to either further slash a budget that’s already been cut to the bone or raise other taxes–usually sales and property taxes, which hit poorer workers, families, and communities harder than wealthier ones.

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