W.Va. Senate approves amended income tax law by 18-16 votes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – An amended bill to repeal and replace West Virginia income tax was passed by the West Virginia Senate on Wednesday night and is now on its way back to Parliament.

The Senate Income Tax Act was a rewrite of the original bill (House Bill 3300) passed in the House of Representatives. This bill aims to do away with state income tax and replace the income with some increases in sales tax.

The last amendment rewrites the entire bill. It removes the food tax, lowers the sales tax hike and introduces a tax refund system for the lowest earners in the state. It also disables a recreational marijuana tax for coal and gas tax increases.

Senators had considered a number of amendments to the Senate proposal that came out of Monday’s summit with Governor Jim Justice. They contain several changes, including new tax increases to close the budget deficit that would arise from the abolition of the state income tax.

Senate postpones vote on income tax

On Tuesday, the bill’s third reading was delayed following the introduction of a fourth plan by Governor Jim Justice at a summit designed to bring Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate together.

W.Va. Gov. Justice Announces ‘Justice 4 All’ Plan to Abolish State Income Tax

Gov. Jim Justice on Monday introduced a fourth plan in its quest to get rid of state income tax.

According to the amended bill in the Senate, income tax will be halved in the coming year and zero in four years. There is a 2% increase in sales and usage tax. One of the other changes is the abolition of the hotel tax. Lawmakers say there would be measures to ensure there is no budget deficit.

In an exchange of views on the floor Wednesday night, Senator Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, the author of the amendment Eric Tarr, questioned R-Putnam about part of the amendment related to the advertising tax.

He asked why the proposal does not tax digital advertisers such as Google and Facebook, but local advertisers such as television and radio stations and newspapers.

Tarr said no such amendment had been tabled.

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