Gov. Justice holds ‘Budget Summit’ with leaders from across West Virginia

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(WVPA Photo)
Governor Jim Justice (center) invited more than 25 leaders from across WV to the Capitol on Monday for a  ‘Budget Summit.” Gov. Justice was flanked by Steve Roberts, president of the W.Va. Chamber of Commerce (left), Josh Sword, president of the W.Va. AFL-CIO and Mike Clowser, executive director of the Contractors Association of WV.

Gov. Jim Justice was joined by a wide cross-section of state leaders this week as he again provided budget options and implored the Legislature to get a budget passed that won’t cripple West Virginia.

“Today we have a room full of the biggest and brightest here that have all said they are willing to pull the rope and cross the finish line together,” Governor Justice said. “We have five days left in the regular session and if it doesn’t get done you’d better get out the sleeping bags because we’re going to stay here forevermore. I urge all West Virginians to call their lawmakers and encourage them to get the job done.”

More than 20 representatives of business, labor, public education, higher education, energy, tourism, veterans, senior citizens and disability advocates appeared with Governor Justice to support his plans.

Gov. Justice offered an update as to solutions he has put forth to resolve the budget crisis and put the state on a pathway to recovery and growth.

The Governor’s Preferred Plan-Recovery VS Death

  • The plan preserves the Teacher Pay Raise
  • The plan preserves the Greyhound Breeders Fund
  • Cuts measuring $55 million
  • Consumer Sales Tax will be raised from 6 percent to 6.25 percent ($50 million)
  • A Commercial Activities Tax of .00045 of 1 percent on businesses ($45 million)
  • Raise the Pop Tax by 2 cents per container ($30 million)
  • Raise Cigarette Tax by 20 cents per pack ($20 million)
  • Wealthy West Virginians ($8 million) – $500 for those making more than $200,000 – $750 for those making more than $250,000 – $1,000 for those making more than $300,000
  • Eliminate sales tax exemptions for telecommunications ($60 million), Electronic Data Processing ($6 million) and Health Clubs ($2 million), totaling $68 million
  • Eliminate the general fund transfer to highways ($12 million)
  • Increase Beer barrel tax from $5.50 to $8 ($3 million)
  • No greater cuts that would cripple our state NEEDED

The Governor’s Alternative Plan-Recovery VS Death

  • The plan preserves the Teacher Pay Raise
  • The plan preserves the Greyhound Breeders Fund
  • Cuts measuring $55 million
  • Consumer Sales Tax will be raised from 6 percent to 6.5 percent ($100 million)
  • A Commercial Activities Tax of .00045 of 1 percent on businesses ($45 million)
  • Wealthy West Virginians ($8 million) – $500 for those making more than $200,000 – $750 for those making more than $250,000 – $1,000 for those making more than $300,000
  • Eliminate sales tax exemptions for telecommunications ($60 million), Electronic Data Processing ($6 million) and Health Clubs ($2 million), totaling $68 million
  • Eliminate the general fund transfer to highways ($12 million)
  • Increase Beer barrel tax from $5.50 to $8 ($3 million)
  • No greater cuts that would cripple our state needed.