Glengary, W.Va. – Delegate S. Marshall Wilson, R-Berkeley, today issued the following statement regarding the current budget quandary in West Virginia.
“Early in the 2017 Regular Session, Governor Justice unveiled his plan to raise $450M in additional ‘revenue’ which in this context means ‘taxes,’” Delegate Wilson said. “He intends to raise an additional $450M in taxes against a population of 1.8 million.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the steadily declining number of employed West Virginians as of February 2017 was 781,734. Effectively, the Governor’s proposal places an additional tax burden of $575 per working West Virginian. Five-hundred seventy-five dollars likely seems negligible to a billionaire like our Governor, but to a small business owner with a young family or to a recent college graduate with student loans, it seems an insurmountable impediment to success. The effect of increased taxation on retired people or others on a fixed income would be severe.
“If this seemingly purposeful oppression of families, small businesses, and young professionals is considered in conjunction with the nature of the proposed taxes as a function of a strategic plan, that analysis will produce evidence of the strategic goals of the Governor’s tax plan,” Delegate Wilson said. “My analysis leads me to believe that the strategic goals of the massive tax increases proposed by Governor Justice include the further subjugation of families, small business owners, and young professionals to debt, government manipulation, and dependency. If, in charity, I allow that Governor Justice might intend results other than those outlined above, the results remain as unintended consequences.
“Based upon my understanding of the State Constitution, the clear guidance I have received from Mountaineers, and the dictates of my conscience, I will resist any attempt to raise taxes until we have pared the state government down to essential and constitutionally mandated services,” Delegate Wilson said. “Responsible management of the resources at hand is prerequisite to any demand for more. Neither party politics nor personalities bear upon the intent of this statement; it results rather from a recognition of the disparity between the Governor’s tax proposal and the clear guidance imposed upon me by the Constitution, my employers, and my conscience.”
**US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics website, “West Virginia Economy at a Glance.” Accessed 20 April, 2017.