Carmichael: Federal tax reform, proposed elimination of inventory tax will benefit state

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a strong first step in making West Virginia businesses more competitive, adding he believes the West Virginia Legislature’s proposal to cut the personal property tax on business equipment will result in more economic growth in the state.

“I think anytime we take an initiative to allow people to keep more of their hard-earned money and not send it to the government to allow the government bureaucrats to determine the best way to spend it, that our economy prospers,” he said. “There’s more jobs, there’s more opportunity, and as a result of doing that, we have more money in the state and national treasuries.”

The U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December, which President Donald Trump signed into law shortly after congressional passage. The law changed the individual tax rates under the seven brackets, nearly doubled the standard deduction for married and single filers and increases the child tax credit.

Most people will notice changes in the weekly paychecks beginning Feb. 15 as a result of new withholding tables recommended by the Internal Revenue Service.

The corporate tax rate also decreased from 35 percent to 21 percent at the start of 2018.

“The federal government will allow the worker in West Virginia to keep more of their hard-earned money,” he said. “That is an absolute, world-class benefit to a person that is going to work and earning a paycheck.”

Lawmakers are considering eliminating the state’s personal property tax on business inventory and equipment over seven years, beginning in July 2020. The elimination of the tax would also equal $140 million in annual cuts to the state budget by 2026.

“It will put people back to work,” Carmichael said of the move. “It will help our school systems and it will help address the opioid addiction problem because people now have jobs.”

Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, introduced a resolution to eliminate the tax on Jan. 18, while a similar measure was introduced in the House of Delegates the following day. Gov. Jim Justice recommended the joint resolutions.

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