|PULLING THE ROPE TOGETHER
“To truly make this work, we all need to pull the rope together as West Virginians,” Gov. Justice said.
Pulling the rope together starts with changing the state consumer sales tax from 6.0% to 7.9%, while also adding a small, single-item luxury tax for certain high-value luxury items that only the very wealthy typically purchase. Under the Governor’s proposal, professional services, such as legal and accounting services will pay the same tax rate as skilled trades like plumbers and electricians. The consumer sales tax base will be expanded to include computer hardware/software, legal services, accounting services, other professional services, selected advertising, electronic data processing, and health and fitness memberships. These professional services will see a very substantial increase in business as people on the outside begin to migrate to West Virginia.
For the first time since 1951, the tax on soft drinks will be changed. Additionally, taxes on tobacco products, beer, wine, and liquor will also be changed.
Gov. Justice’s plan also calls for a tiering system to be put in place for natural gas, oil, and coal severance taxes so that when times are good, these companies throw a little more in the collection plate, and when times are bad, the state steps up and lowers severance tax so that their critical jobs are protected.