Charleston Gazette-Mail – I have a sneaking suspicion that the 2021 legislative session will be known as the session where bad ideas came to roost. Read the full article.
The worst of those ideas already has resurfaced: Phasing out the state personal income tax.
As a panel of budget and policy experts assembled by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy put it Thursday, pushing this terrible idea is “inexplicable.”
First, the whole premise for the tax cut is misguided: Eliminate the tax, and 400,000 new residents will pour into the state over the next decade.
Been there, done that. In 2008, legislators slashed corporate net and business franchise taxes and eliminated the sales tax on food. The cuts were sold on the premise that the improved “business climate” would bring companies flocking to the state.
In reality, they blew a $400 million-a-year hole in the state budget, resulting in languishing public schools, soaring college tuition and crumbling roads and infrastructure. In the six years since Republicans took control of the Legislature, nearly 50,000 West Virginians have voted with their feet and left the state.
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