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WV taxes may feel the effects of the looming 'fiscal cliff'

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -

West Virginia appears largely insulated from near-term program cuts if the new year arrives without an agreement on federal revenues and spending.

But many state taxpayers will take an immediate hit if President Barack Obama and Congress fail to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Negotiations continue in Washington to avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to begin in January. West Virginia Budget Director Mike McKown says crucial federal funding for state highways and Medicaid are exempt. Most other state agencies wouldn't feel the effects for a year or more.

But wage-earners should expect to start paying more toward Social Security, even if the fiscal cliff is avoided. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow says people who pay income taxes also face possible higher rates and fewer credits.

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