It’s been the talk of the state this week. Governor Jim Justice’s proposal to reduce the state’s personal income tax by 50 %.

It’s now in the Senate after passing the house on Wednesday. House Democrats were disappointed with the decision saying those making more money need to “pay their fair share.”

But Governor Justice says this bill is a first step to eliminating the personal income tax in the state altogether.

Local financial expert, Jason Haswell, says this bill is great for West Virginians with many benefits that will keep people here and attract more people to the mountain state.

“It would also attract business because it brings workers in that now have a lesser income tax. It’s easier to attract talent, because your wages are not being taxed as much nor would they be if you are a small business owner. So, it brings in better talent, it brings in more people… I think this is very good for West Virginia long term, yes.”

Jason Haswell | Managing Director, The Monteverde Group – Wheeling

According to Haswell, the tax cut proposal will be especially beneficial to the northern panhandle and would be good for business because of the bordering states of Ohio and Pennsylvania that have personal income tax.

“If a business is relocating locally, they’re going to naturally go where it’s better for their employees, where it’s better for their business long term, and their own income. If theirs [Ohio or Pennsylvania’s state income tax] is six percent or six and half or whatever, and ours is three or three and half, we’re going to have a bigger attraction to those folks. So, I think it could be very good for the northern panhandle.”

Jason Haswell | Managing Director, The Monteverde Group – Wheeling

For people worried about this bill giving a tax break to residents who make more than $80,000 a year, Haswell says this tax cut is “a double-edged sword,” and that everyone in West Virginia will be getting the same benefits from the cut regardless of income.

“It’s a cut across the board. So, all people in the state will get the same benefit from this. But I can see where people are coming from, you know that people with a higher revenue should pay a little more.”

Jason Haswell | Managing Director, The Monteverde Group – Wheeling

Haswell says the only setback to this bill is less revenue for the state in the short term. He says the tax cut bill is the fairest and only way to reach the end goal of becoming a no personal income tax state.

The proposal introduces tax cuts over the next 3 years – 30 percent the first year, and 10 percent each year following.