Gil White, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement today concerning SB 335, legislation that would phase out the personal income tax while raising the sales tax by 33 percent:
“The plan to eliminate the personal income tax by 2033 would have a big impact on small-business owners, who typically pay taxes at the individual rate as pass-through entities rather than at the corporate rate, but we have big concerns over the proposal to replace West Virginia’s 6-percent sales tax with an 8-percent general consumption tax.
“That would essentially raise the sales tax by 33 percent, and that would have a tremendous impact on people’s buying power. It also would put West Virginia retailers along the border at a real competitive disadvantage.
“None of our neighboring states has a sales tax approaching 8 percent on the dollar. If you live near the border of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia, and you could save hundreds of dollars by driving a few miles across the state line, you would. That’s going to hurt retailers along the border, and that, in turn, is going to less money in state coffers.
“As the voice of small business in West Virginia, we look forward to working with the West Virginia State Legislature on meaningful tax reforms that help our economy instead of encouraging our citizens to shop elsewhere.”