December 2, 2022
West Virginia Surplus
CHARLESTON, WV - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice reiterated his call for tax cuts after releasing the state’s revenue numbers for November, which showed a surplus of nearly $113 million over the month.
“Our revenue collections continue to exceed our expectations in an incredible way,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement. “West Virginians spoke loud and clear with their vote in the election – they want tax cuts, but they want them done responsibly. Proper minding of our state’s finances, and the unprecedented economic turnaround our state has experienced has led to the incredible opportunity before us to provide meaningful tax cuts for hard working West Virginians who are battling rampant inflation across the board. That’s what I’m working on every day, because it’s what the voters told us to do.”
Over the past two years, Justice has been fighting to lower and eventually eliminate the state’s income tax. He introduced legislation to drastically reduce the income tax during the regular legislative session earlier this year, which passed the House of Delegates but failed to get a vote in the Senate. He reintroduced an income tax reduction plan during a special session, but it suffered the same fate.
Rather than approving an income tax reduction, the Senate passed a resolution that expressed their intent to approve business tax exemptions if given the authority through a constitutional amendment. However, voters rejected the amendment after the governor claimed it would prevent the possibility of income tax reductions.
“We’ve been blessed as a state with these incredible revenue surpluses, and the last thing I'm going to be ashamed of is just how good we’re doing,” Justice said. “West Virginians should be really, really proud because our state is seeing growth and opportunity the likes of which we haven’t seen in history.”
In November, personal income tax collections were nearly $159 million, which was close to $110 million above estimates. The corporate net income tax collections were $11.8 million, which was $9.8 million above estimates. The consumer sales tax collections surpassed $153 million, which was more than $15 million above estimates.
In the last fiscal year, West Virginia had a surplus higher than $1.3 billion. Over the course of this fiscal year, the state’s surplus has already surpassed $687 million.