Blog Posts > West Virginia Lawmakers Claim Eliminating the Income Tax Will Drive Growth. Economists Disagree.
February 22, 2021

West Virginia Lawmakers Claim Eliminating the Income Tax Will Drive Growth. Economists Disagree.

Mountain State Spotlight – Desperate to attract jobs, West Virginia lawmakers made drastic tax cuts. The result was declining investment in education — and stagnant job growth. Read the full article.

That was more than a decade ago. Now, faced with the same problem, state lawmakers want to do it again. Amid a pandemic that has sent the nation into a recession and strained the state’s most basic functions, they want to eliminate West Virginia’s largest revenue source: the income tax. 

This time is different, says Gov. Jim Justice, because eliminating the income tax has “sex appeal.” 

“We’ve tried in West Virginia. We have cut taxes on a lot of different things throughout the years, but has it really brought people to West Virginia? The answer is no,” Justice said in an interview on the MetroNews radio show Talkline. 

“But this will,” he said. 

But according to economists interviewed by Mountain State Spotlight, it probably won’t — and could instead exacerbate the state’s problems.

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