CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss told MetroNews Thursday it’s time to apply some medicine to the state’s revenue ills. 

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State Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss says time for action on state budget.

December revenue collections missed estimates once again putting the state $66 million behind estimates through the first six months of the fiscal year.  

“It is time to start taking some action and I think you’ll see that action in the next several days,” Kiss said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Kiss, the budget staff and others have been reviewing options. Kiss said they have a plan to deal with a $70 million shortfall. He said the tools are familiar ones.

“There could be mid-year budget cuts. They can take the form of the elimination of a capital expenditure that maybe doesn’t need to be done this year. It can be deferred. Also hiring freezes,” Kiss suggested.

Revenues from personal income tax and consumer sales tax continue to be behind where the state thought they would be this budget year. Kiss said there are some signs the economy is beginning to takes steps forward but they need more evidence.

“We need to see that for several months in a row and it’s right now a delicate situation,” he said. “We’re watching it and trying to decide what medicine to apply. Clearly, we’ve come to the conclusion that medicine needs to be applied. We don’t want to apply too much medicine or too little,” he said.

Leading lawmakers have also been involved in the budget discussions according to Kiss.

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Comments

  • Benthere

    This state is in a death spiral. The guys in Charleston will not admit that all the indicators are pointing in the wrong direction. There has to be radical reduction in the State and Local governments. Right to work laws need action, removal of regressive taxes on businesses and individuals will create job growth. Look at the state of Virginia and the growth associated with changes made years ago.
    Coal revenues can no longer keep these problems outside the fence. West Virginia's work force is bloated with to many jobs created by state and local governments. We need private sector jobs that pay good wages and produce higher personnel income tax. The only way out is to slash spending and downsize state government. Will happen.....sadly no. That is why West Virginia is one of the few states losing population while others continue to grow.

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    We sure could use the tax revenue from personal property taxes the scofflaws in Point Pleasant and other border communities manage to dodge.

    Doesn't the county Sheriff, as the chief tax official of Mason County, not see the same out-of-state vehicles parked around Point Pleasant as the rest of us? How about other counties?

  • Jermane

    Susan, I watched an Andy Griffith episode recently. It was the one where the bum was teaching Opie and his friends to act like Robin Hood and steal from people and give it to him. He lived in a shack by the lake and said he couldn't work due to various health problems.

    Andy went there and told him he'd find him a job. When he turned his back, the bum ran off.

    Today, that bum would be labled "homeless." He would be given free housing. Free food. Free healt care. Free cell phone. All with the working people supporting him.

    How far we have fallen in such a short time.

    • susanf1218

      Indeed we have. The "social safety net" programs from the War on Poverty have resulted in a generation of people who are dependent on others to support them, and they see nothing wrong with that.

      • Aaron

        How are state employees not part of that scenario?

        • susanf1218

          Some are. And if those programs were reformed or eliminated or scaled back, those state employees would definitely be affected. And I am o.k. w/that. My point is that not all state employees are lazy, unproductive, and certainly not overpaid! In fact, most state employees are dedicated and hardworking and continue to work for wages that are way below what they should be paid.

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Sure hope that Fantasy Fracker in Wood County starts moving the dirt tomorrow.

    Latest license plate slogan: "Garse Will Save Our Arse"

    • susanf1218

      I like that! Better than the
      Friends of Coal bumper stickers!

  • C.H

    WV Patriot, verry good point. I belive it is time to take a hard look at where we are and how we got here. WV should be one of the richest states in the country , with all the coal that has been mined, oil and natural gas extracted, timber cut and wind generated power. Still we are at the bottom of allmost every good list and at the top of every bad one. We need to start the special investigation into this matter and hold all responsible parties accountible. Whoever has personally benifited at the expense of all West Virginia needs to be exposed.

  • WhgFeeling

    Just curious.....I wander what we rank in percentage of welfare/government assistance? I tend to wander if it could be related. I honestly do not know but I can imagine it would be interesting to know.

  • Walsingham

    Phil Kabler of the Gazette continues to report that the tax revenue collection reports are issued prior to all revenues for that month are actually collected. I suppose it's set by the legislature when the reports have to be given, but if it's not a complete picture, it could be creating an unwarranted revenue panic every month.

  • WV Worker

    I think the first person in Charleston that suggests pay increases for Magistrates, Judges, County Commissioners, FIRE THEM. If their is a shortfall in everything, then they suffer with the rest of the State. Then Fire ALL OF THE BLUE RIBBON MEMERS. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out no jobs no money, no one gambling no money. We can save a few thousand by stop paying for our elected members rooms, food, parking permits, big dinners and lunches They get pay like the me so pay for them yourself, and even if this is part time and they hold another job even better reason for us not to pay their living expenses. How many elected officials live in Fairmont (Just Example) and drive to Charleston and live in the Embassy for a week and we the working tax payers pay for it Plus mileage and everything else? Let stop that crap and see how the savings add up. Mr. Kiss how much does the State pay you for other things not including your salary. How many new jobs have been created this past year for your friends? No only you but other elected officials. Lets stop giving away the state to companies that come for the term of their tax breaks and on the eve of their 6th year shut the doors and walk out of state.

    • WhgFeeling

      Am I wrong but don't they simply get a stipend for room and board?

      • WV Worker

        Stipend or not we the taxpayers are paying it. Also do they get to take that off their personal taxes as expenses?

  • Fubar

    Hop'sHip: Come to Elkins - they're packing them in behind the federal building at the First Ward apts. Dey not bees from here. Local slum lord has apartment buildings all over Elkins. HUD takes care of most of these residents.
    There was a noticeable spike in crime over past 10 months.
    Back to main topic:
    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.
    I've said this before on WV Metro News: You get what you vote for.

    • susanf1218

      You speak the truth, Fubar.

    • Hop'sHip

      Fubar: I was unable to confirm your US BLS ranking. Could you provide a reference? I did find this which showed WV having a dismal job growth record over the last year (April2012-April2013). But equally or even more dismal were Alabama, Alaska, Maine, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming. I believe most of those states are controlled by the Republican Party. Just who do you suggest we vote for?

      http://www.pewstates.org/research/data-visualizations/how-many-jobs-did-your-state-create-85899483589

      • Jason412

        Hop'sHip:

        The part in Fubar's post about US BLS is from an article on this site. http://wvmetronews.com/2013/12/31/business-taxes-to-drop-at-start-of-new-year-gas-tax-to-rise/

      • bulldog95

        Ohio may currently have a republican governor starting his 3rd year but if Obama can still blame Bush, then surely Ohio can blame Ted Strickland for his 8 years of rule.

        Maine, republican governor starting his 3rd year after 8 years of a democrat, John Baldacci.

        Wisconsin, republican governor starting his 3rd year after 8 years of democrat Jim Doyle.

        Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska, and Wyoming are red.

        Nice attempt at being truthful.

    • Jason412

      There was not a noticeable spike in the crime rate in Elkins from the 15 or so black people that moved into Central School Building.

      My girlfriend's family is from the area, and I spent a good bit of time there this summer so I have quite a few friends in the area that never mention this "spike in crime". I read the online edition of the newspaper everyday, and never see anything about this.

      Please show me some newspaper articles showing this "spike in crime" I think I remember seeing 1 like 70 year old man from VA stab someone. That does not count as a spike in crime.

      The spike in crime I noticed in Elkins was from all the white meth heads, is that the one you refer to?

      Here an article from your local paper
      "If Virginians were being told to move to West Virginia to obtain HVC funding in a more expedient manner, Jacobson said she was unaware of such advice.

      "I hadn't heard that," Jacobson said. "Our waiting list is full, so I'm not sure that would be very good advice."

      Nonresidents make up only 2 to 3 percent of the families that RCHA delivers Section 8 vouchers to each year"
      http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/562422/Sequester-cuts-affect-local-HUD-funding.html?nav=5014

      When I was there over the summer I heard the same nonsense "the blacks are destroying are town" but every newspaper article you read is about some white meth cook, white burglar, or white wife beater.

      I'm sorry you're town is no longer 97%+ Caucasian and is now about 96% Caucasian. It must be devastating.

      • susanf1218

        Jason and Aaron - In your naivete and idealism, you fail to understand that it is about more than the HUD housing issue - it is a cumulative effect. These families relocate to WV, then they become eligible for Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF possibly, and the end result is that the citizens of WV now pick up the tab and carry the burden of supporting even more people! Maybe you are o.k. with that, even if you work and pay taxes, but I am not. It is nothing more than cost shifting from one state to another, and this state can ill afford to take on even more!

        • Aaron

          I'm not sure I get what you stand for Susan. In the comments regarding government entitlements, you seem to be against enlarging them but when the conversation turns to state government, you have no problem enlarging that elephant. Normally fiscally conservatives are against enlarging both.

          So what gives?

          • susanf1218

            Who said anything about "enlarging" state government, Aaron?? Can you actually read and comprehend or do you just make assumptions about what other people think, to fit your own agenda? I am not in favor of enlarging state government, and as I have said, there is certainly room in government at ALL levels to do away w/some of the beauracracy (I don't think that is spelled right), but the front line state employees, who do the jobs and go year to year without any increase in salary are NOT the problem!

      • susanf1218

        Well, the Housing Director didn't outright deny that this was happening - she just said she was "unaware" of people being told to come to WV. How convenient for other states to urge their HUD families to move away - less burden on them and WV becomes the dumping ground for more economic dependents that the tax paying, working public has to support.

        • Jason412

          She also says the waiting list is full, and it wouldn't make sense.

          Then it says, as a fact, that non-residents only make up 2-3% of Randolph County's HUD.

          You mention the comments section of that article, only 1 person is saying the same thing as you. I already acknowledged that a lot of people in Randolph County seem to think that's the truth, but it doesn't make it so. Or are you referencing the comment that says "I've been noticing a lot more shady people" yes, because as we all know, anybody who looks different is shady.

          Central Tower's is what? 30 apartments? Maybe 40 I can't remember. Say half the building is families from VA, so 20 tops. Are you seriously insinuating that 20 apartments worth of people is screwing HUD that bad.

          I'm still waiting for you or Fubar to show me something relating to the spike in crime, you obviously believe it to be the truth.

      • Hop'sHip

        Thanks Jason. That article you referenced (and the accompaning comments) clarified for me what this is all about. Thanks again.

      • The bookman

        I agree. The problems are surrounding meth and petit larceny...not violent crime.

      • Jason412

        Just want to point out Elkins is the same town that had an article in the paper about a "Mexican gang moving in" a few years ago when there were like 5 Mexican's riding around on bicycles.

        • Jason412

          Sorry bout all the typo's in the first post, "our" not 'are' and 'your' not "you're"

  • Joe

    You all simply won't stop with the whining will you?!

    Professionals my arse.

  • Docbegone

    If you think it is bad now, wait three years when the state has to start paying its share of the increased Medicaid costs thanks to Obamacare and the same politicians in WV that want to apply "medicine". The inmates are running the asylum.

    • Jermane

      This is the dirty little secret that no one knows about.

      The state will be required to pick up the tab of all these people on Medicaid as the result of Obamacare. That's free health care, people. Free except for the taxpayers who have to cover the bill.

      It will require millions and millions of additional tax dollars to cover it.

      Where is that money coming from? Take a wild guess.

  • zero tolerance

    Bring on the teacher and state employee rants because we all know they are the "root cause" for the current budget shortfall for the State of West Virginia.

    • workerbee

      Are you serious? State workers have not received a raise in about 10 years. No kidding. We're the last entity to get any kind of increase. Maybe you should look at the salaries and perks of your representatives and the current administration. Where were you, Zero Tolerance, when the newly appointed secretary was hired in at a salary of $185,000? Workers feel lucky when their salaries exceed $24000.

      and, thank you , Susanf218.

      • zero tolerance

        Sarcasm workerbee, it was intended to bee a sarcastic post.

    • susanf1218

      And just how the hell do you figure that??

      • zero tolerance

        Sarcasm susan, it was meant yo be sarcastic.

        • stophating

          Teachers are the root of all evil... No one needs that fancy book learnin'. They shouldn't be paid, have a retirement, nor healthcare, and should drive the buses and clean the buildings....

  • jb

    Gee a politician that uses the word medicine instead of taxes!!!!! What will they think of next??

  • wvguy

    Why not cut some of the programs that keep people from finding a job. As long as you pay people not to work, they wont work. I don't understand why that is so hard to figure out. I see a lot of help wanted signs but no one will take an $8 to $10 hour job when they can get welfare for about the same amount. If you start cutting the programs that keep people from finding a job, they will start looking for work. I know a lot of people hate coal but when you make it not profitable to mine coal, you will lose a lot of jobs. If people don't have jobs they don't spend money, I don't understand why that is so hard to figure out. This state and the Obama administration has made it nearly impossible to open a new business. The permitting process and the environmental studies that has to be done in order to build anything is amazing. The government at all levels has regulated itself right into poverty

  • rick

    I really don't think that teacher pay raises are the main concern with this much of a budget shortfall. State employess are underpaid many times over compared to other States. It is certain that other employees will not get any raises in this or future years. The Legislature will find funding for what they want to fund any any budget year but there will be a lot of services taking big hits.

    • Aaron

      Perhaps it is time to start privatizing as many of these functions as possible. Look at how well it's worked with Brickstreet. I can only imagine how much more efficient and how much money the state would save if they would only bid out highway maintenance as we did highway construction and that's only a start.

    • Interesting123

      "The Legislature will find funding for what they want to fund in any budget year"

      This is the truth. They have their reserve funds above and beyond the rainy day funds. They will always find the money for their priorities. If you don't like it, well, then stop voting for the same group of people and their recruited buddies every year.