Let’s set the record straight…
I have NEVER voted for a tax increase!
FACT: In 2021, I was a sponsor of the bill to eliminate the state’s personal income tax. You can read the initial bill HERE and view the roll call vote HERE. Unfortunately, when the bill left the House and went to the Senate, many tax increases like the sales tax hike, soda tax increase, and more were added to the bill. When the bill came back to the House, all 100 members (including myself) voted AGAINST those tax increases. You can read the bill that the Senate sent us HERE and you can view the roll call vote HERE.
FACT: In 2021, I voted to put the removal of personal property taxes on automobiles and business equipment and inventory on the ballot this November. Because these taxes are in our state’s constitution, the voters must vote on this constitutional amendment. You can read that joint resolution HERE and you can view the roll call vote HERE. I fully support the removal of these burdensome taxes, and I encourage you to vote in support of this amendment in November.
Now that we’ve set the record straight concerning my voting record…
Moving forward, West Virginia needs a tax policy that gives YOU more control of your hard-earned wages. A comprehensive tax system is one of the most fundamentally necessary aspects of the permanent relationship among a state’s government, its citizens, and its business community.
That system must:
1. Promote – not inhibit – effective operation of the free enterprise system – including the reward of hard work by individuals
2. Be effective in its generation of adequate revenues
3. Provide simplicity and ease of both compliance for taxpayers and of administration for the government
4. Avoid the regressive effect of making more costly the purchases of life’s essentials by low-income citizens
Despite many past attempts to correct it, West Virginia’s current system continues to fall short of these objectives. A new effort at comprehensive reform of that system is one of the most compelling public policy initiatives we should undertake.
Specific reforms of the tax system which deserve consideration:
1. A phase-out of income taxes on individuals and businesses
2. Reductions (not uncompetitive increases) in the rates of the consumption taxes, with exemptions limited to those avoiding both added cost of the purchases of life necessities by low-income individuals and uncompetitive disruption of free market functions
3. Replacing the tax on ALL tangible personal property with alternative sources of revenue for local governments