Thursday, May 12, 2016

WV Taxes Aren't Keeping Business Away

The Tax Foundation, a conservative organization, testified last year to West Virginia’s Select Joint Committee on Tax Reform that getting rid of the business personal property tax would attract business to the state. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy says otherwise.

State and local taxes make up only 3.2 percent of the cost of doing business in the state, says the Center. Companies rank other costs much higher when deciding whether to open for business in West Virginia: utilities, transportation occupancy, and labor.

So, getting rid of the business personal property tax wouldn't affect a company's bottom line that much. However, it would definitely hurt municipalities, counties, and schools, which depend heavily on this property tax revenue.

Do we really need to hammer on our school system any more than we already have? State-owned colleges and universities are already facing budget cuts due to the budget shortfall - on top of previous budget cuts that have already forced them to raise their tuition fees.

And let's not forget the PEIA crisis, which contrary to what Bill Cole and others say, didn't just pop up out of nowhere to take them by surprise.

Our legislators need to do their jobs and fix the budget. If it takes an increase in the cigarette tax, so be it. Uninsured sick smokers cost the state money, let them pay some of it back with a higher tax.

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