Gov. Jim Justice’s call for fractional tax increases on both sales and business revenues got immediate pushback from key lawmakers.
Other proposals to limit sales tax exemptions and eventually end the state income tax found a warmer reception.
His major economic initiative – a highway construction program – would require gas tax and motor vehicle fee hikes to seed $1.4 billion in bonding.
Justice says it could provide 48,000 construction jobs. Voter approvals are needed.
The drivers behind his plans are an economy that has slumped along with coal mining and a projected $500 million state budget deficit.
House Speaker Tim Armstead called the budget-balancing taxes “disappointing.”
Justice, a businessman, says he’s come up with “the most painless way” to get West Virginia out of the financial mess and into prosperity.