On Wednesday, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin gave his farewell address to a joint session of the West Virginia legislature.
He said he is optimistic about the future but that repairing the budget deficit may include something no one likes to hear: tax increases.
Governor Tomblin will pass the baton to Governor-Elect Jim Justice on Monday, but not before submitting a budget plan that would increase the consumer sales tax by 1%.
Tomblin’s plan would also tax telecommunications services which was proposed last year and was quickly removed.
How would these tax increases affect the Northern Panhandle specifically?
“With a 1% sales tax increase to cities like Wheeling, that would make our sales tax be 8% which would not make us be competitive with our neighboring states,” said Delegate Erikka Storch, District 3.
Delegate Shawn Fluharty, also of District 3, said he thinks the tax increase would negatively impact the Northern Panhandle and that we need new sources of revenue instead.