Governor Jim Justice holds town hall to discuss repeal of personal income taxes

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Wednesday night Governor Jim Justice held a town hall to discuss his proposal to repeal the personal income tax. In doing the Governor said he wants to make a net positive gain for West Virginians through their paychecks.

“I am trying to make it, in every way I possibly can, a net positive as far as your paycheck, as far as your take-home dollars,” said Governor Jim Justice (R). “I am trying to make it to where it becomes a positive to you as far as income everybody across our state.”

However, the Governor did say that the most difficult people to make a positive gain for would be those in the lower-income brackets. To resolve this issue Governor Justice wants to offer a type of tax rebate check to bring them into the net positive. Additionally, in order to fill the void left by the reduced income tax, the governor proposes having businesses and natural resources step up. One such way of doing so would be increasing the sales tax by 1.5% to 1.9% and creating a tiered severance tax for natural resource companies.

“We’ve asked them to consider and agree that it would be in the best interest of our state if we tier those severance taxes,” said Department of Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy. “In other words, rather than have a flat tax, for example, now we have a flat tax on natural gas of five percent of the sales tax, the tax will go up or down depending on the price of the product.”

Should the income tax repeal be approved the plan would be to phase out the income tax while simultaneously phasing in the increased taxes over time.

“You will phase out a portion of the income tax, half of it, at the same time that’s when you’ll phase in the tax increases and everything,” Governor Justice said. “You will not pay a tax increase between now and January of 2022 it will all come together hand and glove.”

The earliest the income tax repeal would tax effect would be January 1st, 2022.

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