Charleston, WV (WTRF) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey is leading a fight to protect the state’s right to cut taxes.
The state wants to use the federal stimulus payments to fund them, but the federal government won’t let them.
Meanwhile, West Virginia isn’t the only State responding to this.
Morrissey, along with the Arizona Attorney General and Georgia Attorney General, is leading a 21- state coalition, and this coalition sent a letter to the US Treasury Secretary.
“As our letter points out, this may be one of the greatest attempted invasions of state’s sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic.”
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey fears the most recent COVID-19 spending law strips states of their authority to make tax policies…
…and he isn’t putting this to rest.
“There are huge legal and constitutional problems with this provision.”Patrick Morrisey, (R)-WV Attorney General
Morrisey says the law seems to forbid states from using COVID relief funds to make up a reduction in tax revenue. He says that’s a problem.
“The feds may argue that we’re using the COVID money indirectly to fund the tax cuts. They would say we wouldn’t of had the money otherwise. That’s a plausible reading of the law, but we also think that’s unconstitutional.”Patrick Morrisey, (R)-WV Attorney General
Meanwhile, West Virginia’s looking at making changes to a wide variety of taxes, and Morrisey believes those changes could be worth close to $1 billion.
But he fears for the future.
“If we don’t get clarity from the US Treasury Department or the Courts, West Virginia will have a sort of damacles hanging over our head for the foreseeable future.”Patrick Morrisey, (R)-WV Attorney General
Morrisey warns this state could face risks, such as having a massive amount of money subject to a federal clawback. He adds it might not happen now or maybe not even for another four years. But it could have a big affect on the state legislators’ ability to do their jobs and control tax policy eventually.
“We are, unfortunately, one of the poorer states in the union.”Jason Haswell, managing director of Monteverde group
Financial expert Jason Haswell believes that if the state could cut taxes, it would help those struggling financially.
“It’s an easy way to get money back in their pockets.”Jason Haswell, managing director of Monteverde group
Haswell doubts the government’s going to pull those funds and believes West Virginia will go forward with tax cuts.