This week from Charleston
I am happy to announce that last Friday Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson and I introduced the House of Delegates tax reform plan in two companion bills numbered sequentially, HB 2933 and 2934. The bills seek to make major changes to West Virginia’s tax code by establishing a flat income tax rate of 5.1 percent and dropping the sales tax to 5.5 percent while also broadening the base of what is taxed.
Our plan is revenue-neutral, which in effect means it would not have a negative impact on the current budget situation. As we look at broadening the base and lowering the rates of our income and sales tax, we want to put all options on the table and decide what is best path forward for making the state a better place to live and start and a business. There are a number of exemptions that we are taking a look at and there are some that we will not touch, such as the tax on food.
I am extremely excited to put forward ideas on behalf of my constituents in Jefferson county on how we can change the arcane tax structure that has hindered growth in our state for decades.
This Monday House Speaker Tim Armstead, and Senate President Mitch Carmichael unveiled the Legislature’s framework to balance the state’s budget by controlling government spending and avoiding massive tax increases. The leadership articulated a very simple guiding principal to their approach to the budget and that is to “live within our means”. The revenue estimates put out by the Governor for next year are $4.05 billon and that is the amount the leadership in the House and Senate have said they will budget for in FY18.
Lastly, House and Senate leaders stated this week that it is their goal to have a budget bill passed out of the Finance Committees and voted on by the House and the Senate prior to the end of session. This is something that has not been achieved in living memory.
On a final note. I’ve started a digital news letter! Please email Riley@Mooreforwv.com to sign up and stay informed!