House Finance

Pat McGeehan
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has killed a bill that leadership says was one of the keys to balancing the 2018 budget. The bill was presented on behalf of Governor Jim Justice and originally would have raised $450 million in new taxes but drastically changed as it worked through the committee process.

House Finance Committee
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee are expected to get their first look at the chamber’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year in a meeting this Saturday. In order to balance it, lawmakers will have to close an estimated $497 million hole.

Eric Householder
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Department of Commerce gave the House and Senate Finance committees a presentation Monday morning to explore the state's competitiveness in attracting businesses.

The Commerce department also asked for a significant increase in its funding. However, that request collided with the reality of the state’s dire budget situation.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice has asked lawmakers to do a politically unpopular thing this state Legislative session -- raise taxes. But legislative leaders say they are still on the hunt for cuts to state government. Both the House and Senate Finance committees held meetings Thursday and heard from the Governor’s budget team, who attempted to convince lawmakers to see things the governor’s way.

House Committee Refuses Another Tax Bill

Mar 9, 2016
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would reduce the state’s severance tax on coal and natural gas from 5 percent to 3 percent has been postponed in the House.

Senate Bill 705 was taken off the table for lawmakers this session and instead was turned into an interim study measure during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday.  That would give the legislature time to study the effects of the tax cut in more detail during the months between legislative sessions.


Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House Finance Committee will continue debating a bill Tuesday morning that would increase Division of Motor Vehicle fees and some taxes to help fund road maintenance and construction projects.

The House Finance Committee began debating Senate Bill 555 Monday afternoon, but after an hour of discussion, Chairman Eric Nelson moved to lay the bill over until Tuesday morning.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

On the final day to approve bills in the chamber, Senators passed out Senate Bill 555. The bill adds a trigger to increase the state’s gasoline tax by 3 cents when the wholesale price of a gallon drops below $2, but also generates dollars for the state road fund through increased taxes and fees.

The bill made its first appearance in a House Finance Subcommittee Friday.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bill to raise the state’s tobacco tax was approved by Senators earlier in the session and made its first appearance in a House Committee Thursday.

 

Delegates on the Finance Committee took up the bill Thursday morning and continued their discussions that afternoon.

 

Delegates continued their consideration of Senate Bill 420 for almost two hours voting on a few amendments, but in the end, the committee killed the bill.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House have approved a bill that would halt the state-funded updates casino games. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates have killed a bill that would have reduced the state’s consumer sales tax while removing exemptions for certain types of professional services.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House Finance Committee has approved a bill that would close loopholes in the state's sales tax.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates are still debating a bill that would take money from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the 2016 budget, but it’s a fight over PEIA, the public employee’s health insurance program, that’s stalling the crucial legislation.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State address last week, he proposed budget cuts all across the board, and Higher Education is looking at another big reduction this year.

For years, Higher Education in West Virginia has endured budget reductions from the state legislature. Some representatives from the state’s public universities have voiced concern that lawmakers aren’t taking the cuts and their impacts on the system seriously, and with a proposed 14 million dollar cut by Governor Tomblin again this year, they’re not feeling much better.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House considered House Bill 2562 Monday, relating to sales tax increment financing. This bill would authorize recalculation of the base tax revenue amount, specifically in reference to Morgantown and other areas of Monongalia County.

Daniel Walker

House Bill 4409 creates the Valued Employee Retention Program with the goal of giving employers incentive to reduce workers’ hours rather than laying them off.

It requires employers to enter an agreement to submit a plan explaining how instead of laying off their employees they would reduce their hours. In exchange, the employee could get unemployment benefits proportional to the amount of hours that they’ve been reduced.