W. Va. Gov. Proposes Sales Tax Increases

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is proposing tax increases on sales, tobacco, e-cigarettes and cellphone and landline use.

Tomblin released those options Thursday while calling the Republican-led Legislature into session Monday.

The Democrat called for using $29 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund and tens of millions from other funds. He requested authority to furlough state employees in fiscal emergencies.

Lawmakers and Tomblin are negotiating a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. They need to find $270 million amid dwindling revenues from coal and natural gas.

This year, the Senate passed tobacco and sales tax hikes. The House didn’t. The tax on cellphones and landlines went unconsidered.

The sales tax increase could be at most 1 percent.

House Speaker Tim Armstead said it was disappointing that Tomblin placed the burden on taxpayers.