Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Play

A new Supreme Court case will focus on state legislative control of federal elections, community health centers seek protection against Big Pharma, and Oregon's estuary management plan gets an update.

Play

A shooting near Chicago leaves six dead and dozens injured, Democratic governors huddle to ensure abortion access, and officials say the "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy will be phased out in the coming weeks.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Counties Watching West Virginia Tax Committee With Dread

Play

Tuesday, May 26, 2015   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Cash-strapped West Virginia counties are watching a special tax committee at the legislature with dread.

The Joint Select Committee on Fair Taxation may consider cuts to severance and business inventory taxes. Both could land hard on the counties, which have already struggled with falling revenue for several years.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says if state lawmakers want to attract new businesses – as they say they do – it would be smarter to invest in education and infrastructure.

"Most of the business people that I talk to, and I talk to a lot of them, are interested in the quality of life here,” Carper says. “Do we have good schools? Do we have good roads?"

The legislature's Republican leadership says it wants to cut business taxes to spark job growth. But according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, slashing business taxes a decade ago didn't bring a promised boom, and only left a big hole in public budgets.

The committee hasn't put forward any specifics yet, which frustrates Carper and other county officials. He says he's heard rumors that the committee's plan could end up costing counties $55 million to $60 million, about a tenth of the counties’ total annual revenue.

He's afraid the committee might already have legislation copied from some big out-of-state conservative organization.

"I hope they haven't already copied some scheme from one of these so-called think tanks,” he states. “It's easy to give away revenue if you're not the one having to make up the difference."

According to a just-released report by the governor's blue ribbon task force on highways, the state's roads are badly in need. It estimates West Virginia would have to put in an additional $750 billion dollars a year just to keep the highways from getting any worse. Carper says that's a much smarter investment than tax cuts.

"If the legislature wants to do what they're getting paid to do, fix the roads,” he stresses. “The roads are costing business a fortune."





get more stories like this via email

Coal-fired energy generation accounts for as much as 80% of air pollutants in some parts of the country. (lilifest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Groups working to curb climate change said a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control carbon …


Environment

Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

Social Issues

A new report found when high school students enroll in early college programs, it improves the chances they will go on to college after graduation…


From 2006 to 2015, more than 17,000 Pennsylvanians filed flood claims with FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, for more than $550 million in damages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property …

Health and Wellness

Texas is home to one in 10 Americans of reproductive age, and mandated births due to the state's abortion ban will increase the number of maternal …

In the 1920s and 1930s, agents for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power posed as ranchers and bought land and water rights in Mono County. (Jennifer Little)

Environment

The futures of tourism, wildlife and ranching in Mono County are now at the mercy of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - according to …

Social Issues

Coming off a string of controversial opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case tied to oversight of federal elections…

Health and Wellness

Some New York health care facilities are getting a funding boost to help train the next generation of doctors and dentists. The U.S. Department of …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021