MORE BUMPY AND PATCHED ROADS – WV Legislature Stalled Over Tax Plan

Another year of bumpy and patched WV roadways, with the state on 33-year repaving schedule.

More than $300 million worth of increases to West Virginia’s sales tax, gas tax and DMV fees to help fix roads are likely off the table in the Republican-led West Virginia legislature, according to Republican House Finance Chairman Del. Eric Nelson.

Nelson said there isn’t enough support to move road improvement legislation forward.

The bills that the WV Senate passed would’ve raised about $316 million annually for roadwork.

A 1-cent hike in the current 6-cent sales tax would’ve yielded $200 million. A House committee stripped that from the bill. The report says the bill included about $66.3 million in DMV fee increases, from driver’s licenses to car titles. Broadening and lowering the privilege tax on car purchases would have raised $17 million.

Raising the gas tax by 3 cents when wholesale prices are $2 or lower, among other adjustments, would have yielded $33 million.

The legislature is proposing to give a major tax break to the coal and gas industry, while the state taxes on those industries have already fallen, contributing to an over $400 million shortfall in the budget next year and numerous counties scrambling to keep operations going, including public schools.