Governor Justice Proposes Slight Increase in State Sales Tax


A frustrating day for lawmakers during the latest meeting in Charleston.

After 16 days of special session, there is no budget agreement.

But the governor has offered some new ideas. 

Governor Jim Justice now wants a slight increase in the state sales tax to 6.35 percent.

But the proposed 20-percent income tax for everyone will be capped. 

House Republicans continue to resist raising the state sales tax, unless there are mechanisms to lower it if the overall economy improves.

Democrats are also questioning the governor’s ideas. 

“That might be a good idea for some states; that might be a good idea for this state in the future. But when you are staring down a half a billion dollar deficit, we can’t be talking about reductions right now. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Delegate Mike Pushkin.

At a cost of $35,000 per day, the approximate total bill for taxpayers is at $560,000.

“Let’s either do six and a half or 6 and a quarter, with the idea of bringing it back down to 6-percent if the economic situations change, so that we could dropping that back down,” said Delegate Vernon Criss.

The Governor also wants a 3 and a half cent per gallon increase in the gas tax, paid by wholesalers who stock the gas stations and not drivers at the pump. 

The House will continue the special session Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.

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