The Chamber of Commerce reports that last week, Governor Jim Justice delivered his second State of the State Address. This year’s address hit a positive theme as the Governor highlighted West Virginia’s economic comeback, which has also led to strong state revenues. During the Governor’s first State of the State in 2017, West Virginia was facing a nearly $500 million deficit in the state budget, a stark difference from today. With today’s strong revenues and economic forecast, the Governor proposed a 7-year phase-out of personal property taxes on manufacturing inventory, machinery and equipment. West Virginia is one of a few states that levies this type of tax, and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has been a strong proponent of its repeal.
The Governor spoke of his desire to give all state employees a 1% pay raise in each of the next two fiscal years, with an additional 1% pay raise per year for the next three years for teachers. With the Governor’s plan, teachers would receive a total of a 5% pay raise in the next three years.
Governor Justice also touted a new slogan: JCTAW, which stands for “Just Cut Taxes and Win!”