Clean Up The Tax Code

Everybody running for office talks about doing something with the tax code, but very few study the issue enough to ensure it is done correctly. I have spent hours reading over policy books on taxes and meeting with experts in tax law, tax policy, economics, and public fiscal management to develop a plan that will increase West Virginia’s revenues and boost the state’s economy.

We must start thinking about where we want the state to go and determine how to get there. We cannot continue allowing the legislature to govern by crisis and put the budget into chaos every year. It is time to plan toward the future so West Virginia can thrive. It is our duty to pay for the services we receive—that includes companies that use our services and infrastructure to do business in the state. Below is my plan to clean up the tax code:

 

  • Create an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This makes income taxes more progressive by lessening the tax burden on hardworking West Virginians.
  • Give new small businesses that pay over minimum wage no tax liability for the first three years of operating.
  • Increase the Historic Preservation Tax Credit from 10% to 25% to spur development and improve downtown buildings across the state.
  • Modernize the personal income tax rates and brackets, including adding a top rate of 7.5% on income above $150,000.
  • Index the income tax brackets to inflation. Simply put, this makes sure COLA adjustments or small raises do not end up being canceled out by the tax burden.
  • Expand the sales tax to include all professional services, digital downloads, and online commerce.
  • Task the WV Treasurer’s Office with preparing personal income taxes. This will allow citizens to simply review and sign a single document at the end of the year instead of spending time and money preparing a state tax return.