Longanacre Requests PIT Elimination Plan Be Revisited

During his February 2021 “State of the State” address, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice unveiled the outline of his proposal to eliminate the state’s income tax. The plan was met with equal parts praise and ridicule by members of both major political parties. Many believed that the controversial plan was exactly what the Mountain State needed to regain prosperity, while detractors charged that the proposal benefited only the wealthiest West Virginians. Shrill others claimed that paying for the elimination of the income tax would be a death sentence for small businesses. After months of deliberation and negotiation, the governor’s controversial plan died a quiet death on the Senate floor.

Todd Longanacre, delegate from the 42nd. District, has advocated for the elimination of West Virginia’s personal income tax since the 2020 campaign season. Now, some four months after the proposal’s defeat, Longanacre is requesting that both the governor and the legislature revisit the issue.

In an Oct. 13 letter to Justice, Longanacre wrote: “I do hereby respectfully request that your office, working alongside of and in coordination with the legislature, take another try at permitting West Virginia producers and earners the chance at keeping their personal earnings by eventually eliminating the PIT.”

In his letter, Longanacre cites the Republican “supermajority’s” inability to “get on the same page behind one of at least three separate and different plans” as the primary reason for the proposal’s failure.

“I had hoped that a Republican ‘supermajority’ could have stayed within the framework of a traditional GOP platform when putting out their individual plans,” Longanacre wrote.

Longanacre’s letter goes on to state: “I desired that we could have constructed a framework that A) gradually gets to a total elimination of the PIT, B) does not increase taxes on private industry, and C) finds ways to reduce state spending across all state agencies. It is on these three GOP platform principles that the Executive Branch and the Legislature should be able to build an agreeable framework upon.”

Longanacre’s letter concludes with: “If we the GOP ‘supermajority’ were to stick with traditional GOP principles moving forward, I personally believe that we will have a far better chance of getting to a bill which we can all agree on and subsequently could have a meaningful impact on the lives of our Mountain State citizens.”

The governor’s office has, as of yet, not responded to Longanacre’s request to revisit the proposed elimination of the state’s personal income tax. The West Virginia Daily News will provide updates regarding this situation should additional details become available.

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