CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates tonight rejected Gov. Jim Justice’s tax increase plan, with leadership urging a break in the current special session to resume negotiations on a budget plan that can pass.
“We have been saying loudly and clearly that this special session was premature and that there was no support for these tax increases that enable government growth,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. “Tonight’s vote confirmed what we have been saying all along: that the majority of the House of Delegates is opposed to this plan.”
The House voted 59-36 to reject House Bill 104, which was the key tax bill the Governor had been negotiating with leaders in the Senate.
“Following tonight’s vote, we now propose the Legislature temporarily recess this special session so that all parties can come to the table to negotiate a budget plan that can pass,” Speaker Armstead said.
The tax increase plan the Governor proposed in his special session proclamation would have raised taxes on West Virginia residents and businesses by at least $250 million next year.
“Our families are struggling to make ends meet, and this is absolutely the wrong time to burden them with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional taxes” Speaker Armstead said.
“For now, I think it's best we take a break and get everyone in a room and try to work out our differences,” Speaker Armstead said. “I encourage Governor Justice to listen to the message the House sent tonight and work with our leadership team and our colleagues in the Senate to find a path forward that will truly work for the people of West Virginia.”