Governor, or “King” Justice, as some call him, wants to jack up sales and other taxes and give taxpayers government handouts, while proposing to eliminate personal income taxes. While this might seem laudable at first glance, it is a smoke and mirrors game.
Our state has been severely hampered by unnecessary and burdensome, and unconstitutional mask mandates, business closure mandates and by limiting the capacity of businesses. Even today, Jefferson County WV high schools are closed this week due to bogus COVID 19 statistics. Children are at virtually zero risk from COVID 19. Staff are not at risk either. In fact, with proper treatment 99.9 % of those with COVID will recover. COVID 19 is much less fatal for children than the flu. Following this rationale, why did we not close schools periodically due to cases of the flu?
The best way to help our state is to remove unnecessary mandates. HB 2003 will require legislative review for any mandates over 60 days and has passed the WV House of Delegates unanimously. This bill needs to be brought to the floor of the Senate ASAP and amended to make it clear that the bill’s provisions apply to not only future mandates plus the current one. Mask mandates discourage business. And, of course, closing restaurants and making up random rules for their operation, as well as for other businesses’ operation, adversely affects businesses, including causing many small businesses to go out of business permanently. Yet Governor Justice does not want to deal with these core issues, but rather wants to distract us with other, peripheral issues.
So, Governor Justice, stop the social posturing BS. People will decide on their own whether or not they want to wear a mask. Children need to be in school. People need to interact in person without unnecessary and harmful government mandates. By the way, why can eighth grade students be in school, but not ninth grade students? What is the magical “scientific” formula behind that?
Specifically regarding the income tax proposal, many small businesses would not benefit in any case. Schedule C income is not included. Food grocery items will become taxable again, at 7.9%, after having just been removed from being taxable in 2013. Food had also been added and removed from being taxed in West Virginia previously in 1981 and then taxed again in 1989. Tax on food drives West Virginians to shop in neighboring states with no food tax.
Governor Justice should focus on helping West Virginians to exercise their God-given freedoms, and not on dubious plans that increase taxes on essential items like food purchased at grocery stores. Leave the income tax alone. There are many more pressing issues, like restoring our Constitutional freedoms and ensuring voting integrity.