CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s getting better all the time.  That’s the assessment of declining business taxes in West Virginia, reductions that take effect with the start of the New Year, from state Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts.

“From a national rating scale, West Virginia has moved from being, sort of, at the bottom to pack (for business tax obligations) to being about in the middle of the pack.  In many, many cases, being in the middle of the pack is probably very good,” Roberts said.

“We still have a relatively high business tax burden in West Virginia.  The point is, it is so, so much better than it was.”

Starting Wednesday, New Year’s Day, the corporate net income tax, which is based on federal taxable income derived in West Virginia, will drop to 6.5 percent, which is down from a high of 8.75 percent.

The business franchise tax, a tax on the privilege of doing business in West Virginia, will fall to 0.1 percent on Jan. 1 before being completely eliminated at the start of 2015.

Before the business reductions started under Governor Joe Manchin, Roberts said West Virginia had the fourth highest business tax rates in the entire United States.

With the lower rates, “That can only help us as we try to attract jobs,” said Roberts.  It’s help, he said, the state needs because West Virginia is still ranked at the bottom in many other areas.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, West Virginia sits in spot number 52 out of 53 possible places for creating new jobs in the United States, rankings that also include Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.

“We’ve already made national rankings, in term of improvement, and that can only help us as we try to attract jobs,” said Roberts who was optimistic about a turnaround for the state’s economy.

On Wednesday, the price of a gallon of gasoline in West Virginia was also scheduled to go up by one cent.  The increase comes from the annual recalculation of the gas tax based on the average wholesale price of gasoline.

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  • wvtd

    are we not taxed enough already? eliminate the waste of our hard earned money, tighten your belts politicians like we all do. I read that WV is one of only two states that's population has decreased and it is very easy to see why, our children are last in every category except obesity and illiteracy and the gas jobs are going to out of state folks for the most part. We need to get rid of the career politicians and turn this situation around or pack up and move out too.

  • Low Rider

    I'm not a big fan of the .01 per gallon tax increase (I drive over 700 miles per week), but I applaud the state for reducing the business tax. WV has to do something to stay competitive and attract new business.

    I've travelled to Pittsburgh, Columbus, Charlotte, and Tampa over the past year and the amount of commercial construction (and jobs) in these areas is amazing. In WV we get excited if a new Go Mart or Sheet's comes to town!

    WV has an aging population and is turning away our brightest young people as they are moving to areas where good jobs are located. We need a solid business community so the state can survive financially.

    • Gilbert Gnarley

      Our governor gets all giddy when a fantasy Fracker may perhaps consider possibly locating here maybe sometime in the future, if not in this life in the next.

    • Jason412

      Lowrider, while on the subject of construction in Pittsburgh it's interesting to note that in 2003 Pittsburgh was facing a massive budget crisis and was one of the most in debt cities in America. Even going as far to drain the pools, and close the rec centers that year.

      They made changes to stop the population from dwindling, changed the image of the city from the old steel town to what it is today, and worked on infrastructure. With a few changes it went from a city headed the way of a Detroit, to a city with an increasing population and ever expanding job market.

      Maybe WV should call and ask for some advice.

      • Jason412

        Here's a good article on what happened in Pitt circa 2003

        Here's a snippet
        "Mr. Murphy acknowledged that he postponed sounding the alarm on the city's financial problems. Instead, he pursued ambitious capital projects: PNC Park, Heinz Field and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Though they were built with no funding from the city itself, he said it would have been impossible to get the deals done had he portrayed the city as broke. He was told he should raise taxes, but he refused.

        "My interest was making the city competitive again," he said. "So we figured out how to make it work. ... How do I talk about the city being broke and talk about spending $1.2 billion on these facilities and have people believe me?"

        Read more:

        Its a pretty good read.

  • Gary R

    The people that really get screwed are the retirees. According to an article WV is the 6 worst state for taxes for retired people. Thirty four states don't tax social security but WV does. Also a lot of states don't tax pensions but WV does. I sent an email to the governor but never received an answer. I guess he's to busy for us little peons while he goes on his junket trips overseas. They could at least raise the amount that is exempted. The gas taxes in this state were already too high. When are the people going to wake up and vote these cronies out.

    • Gilbert Gnarley

      They won't vote out incumbents of any political persuasion, Gary. In my county unemployment has held steady near 10% for more than a single election cycle and the politicians dare to run for reelection, the so-called "Democrats", "Republicans", and tea-party organizers.

      Sadly, though, they'll be reelected. I'm writing in "None of the Above". Here's hoping Mr. Above wins.

  • Therealfreshprince

    This is a start but only a start. We need right to work passed now!, add a appeals court to provide automatic right of appeal, eliminate frivolous lawsuits. WV needs to make a concerted effort to be a business friendly state and attract more businesses to locate and grow there business in our state. Please move over tax and spend and give freedom a chance to take our state to were it should have been for over 50 years.

  • me

    I'm sick of these minions in the capital screwing the average person with these damn gas taxes. Gas is high enough in WV that we do not need another tax hike! No sense in gas being 30 cents cheaper a gal in Va.

    • stophating

      Just bend over and take it--middle class doesn't matter in this country anymore--if you don't make at least 250k you are scum of the earth, thank you Reagan, Bush I and II

      • Tom wv

        Yes... Thank you Reagan and the Bushes for building up the middle class. It's a shame we are seeing what they accomplished being tore down by Obama and these dam democrats.

        • Jason412

          Oh yeah the middle class was doing fine til Obama got elected, what a load of BS.

          How does everyone forget GW Bush crashing the economy at the end of his tetrm

          • Tom wv

            Ya know 412.... You blame bush for that but do you realize who was in control of congress. Yes... That's right.. DEMOCRATES ! I suggest you do some research and see how the laws that that congress passed affected the economy. One more thing because I know you won't do any research... Look at Reagan he inherited a worse economy but turned it around . Your little Barry has only made things worse. Him as president is a bunch of bs.

      • Rich

        You honestly think that the middle class is doing well under Obama? Lol

      • Mountain Man

        So true!!

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Once again, the state irresponsibly eliminates a source of revenue without seemingly making up for the shortfall elsewhere. How 'bout some hard questions:

    Does anyone ever notice that the Chamber of Commerce and their minions periodically present an extortive fix-it list to the state Legislature?

    Will the 2.25% in the corporate income tax reduction and the 0.1% reduction in the business franchise tax lead to a shot in the arm for state commerce?

    Will it lead to a direct increase in employment?

    Will high-unemployment counties like Webster, McDowell, Mason and others see an economic recovery?

    Will the Legislature ever stop listening to the Dewey, Cheatham, and Howell "economists" at the Chamber of Commerce?

    Who is held accountable when this latest magic bullet fails?

    Do incumbent politicians do the honorable thing and not seek reelection because of their failed efforts?

    Just one man's questions.........

    • stophating

      Want to know who is going to be held accountable for the business tax cuts--the working class--I'm willing to bet that food tax will be added back.

      I've challenged people on other articles to prove that cuts have saved or added a single job, and have not gotten a response (probably because they haven't).

      • The bookman

        Read the reply, it's been there all day!

      • Gilbert Gnarley

        I'll wager that "businesses" will simply pocket the savings and whine next year when West Virginia hasn't had the same growth as Silicon Valley.

        It's not reinvesting in business it's called "greed", pure and simple.

    • GF

      So you and stophating believe that the current practices are working well? That employment and job creation in WV are successful? That higher taxes on business will improve employment and opportunities for our kids? Our population is getting even older as our kids leave for jobs in other states. Our state is DYING and you want to bury your head in the sand and pretend that everything is hunky dory. At least give the Legislature credit for trying to be proactive instead of simply whining about how bad it is.

  • Rodney Hytonen

    Considering the DAMAGE the "businesses" of WV do, this is HARDLY good news for the average West Virginian.

    • Tom wv

      Your right Rodney.. We should move all business out of this state and put everybody on welfare. Then when we don't get our annual raise in benefits we get to blame George Bush. Good Lord... Folks listen to what your telling yourselves. No wonder this state is in the shape that it is in. It is really gonna take a lot of backbone from our elected leaders to over come this mindset.