How WV Would Benefit from a State EITC: A Free Event

Please join financial education practitioners, researchers and stakeholders to learn more about the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

This event is designed to promote a better understanding of the state EITC and the importance of financial inclusion by featuring top researchers and policy experts who can share best practices with the group.

Register today!

 

Sponsored by:

wvasf logoHUB logo

WVCBP_Color Logo 104

A Win for Working Families!

A Win for Working Families!

Today Congress passed legislation to fund the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year including making key provisions to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent.

Yesterday the bill was approved by the House of Representatives with all three of West Virginia’s members voting yes. Today the Senate passed it out as well, with Senator Capito voting for, and Senator Manchin voting against, the legislation.

By making key provisions of the EITC and CTC permanent, Congress has prevented up to 16 million Americans-including 8 million children-from falling into or deeper into poverty after 2017 (when the provisions were scheduled to expire).

 

Learn More About A Tax Credit for Working Families

Join us for a free event to learn more about the economic impacts of a West Virginia Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

When: January 11 from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: Embassy Suites, downtown Charleston

Who: Financial education practitioners, researchers and stakeholders, including representatives from the Richmond Federal Reserve, Marshall University, the West Virginia legislature and Duke University will discuss the effects of a state EITC on West Virginia’s economy and its families.

The event is free and registration is required to reserve lunch.

Why: Gain a better understanding of how a West Virginia EITC could boost local economies while positively impacting families who earn low wages

REGISTER TODAY!

Sponsored by the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families, the West Virginia HUB, and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Fed event logos 

He’s Ready for His Close-Up

Ted filming commercial
Look for Ted coming to a TV channel near you!

Welcome, Jackie!

Jackie Stalnaker has joined our team as a West Virginia Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Fellow. She will be focusing her energy and talents on outreach efforts in the Morgantown area.

Jackie is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in World Languages at West Virginia University. She is also a literacy volunteer for Monongalia and Preston Counties.

To learn more about our fellowship and internship programs, go here.

 Jackie Stalnaker photo

Time is Running Out to Get Your Early Bird Discount for the 2016 Budget Breakfast

Take advantage of the early bird discount for this year’s Budget Breakfast by registering today!

 BACKcropped

 happy-holidays-header3.jpg

Happy Holidays from all of us at

 the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy!!

Ted, Sean, Tara, Seth and Linda

 

 

 

Boosting the Economy Through a West Virginia Working Families Tax Cut

Learn More About A Tax Credit for Working Families

Join us for a free event to learn more about the economic impacts of a West Virginia Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

When: January 11 from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: Embassy Suites, downtown Charleston

Who: Financial education practitioners, researchers and stakeholders, including representatives from the Richmond Federal Reserve, Marshall University, the West Virginia legislature and Duke University will discuss the effects of a state EITC on West Virginia’s economy and its families.

The event is free and registration is required to reserve lunch.

Why: Gain a better understanding of how a West Virginia EITC could boost local economies while positively impacting families who earn low wages

REGISTER TODAY!

Sponsored by the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most States Providing Less K-12 Education Funding Now Than Before the Recession

Most states are providing less support for K-12 education funding now than before the Recession and some are still cutting funding eight years after the Recession began, according to a report released this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

How is West Virginia doing? The state’s property tax revenue grew substantially in recent years, due in large part to natural gas drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale, which increased the local share while reducing the state share of the school aid formula.

So, unlike other states, West Virginia hasn’t had to cut K-12 funding because of budgetary pressures (although it has been cutting higher education funding for years). Instead the state’s share of K-12 funding through the school aid formula has fallen due to natural-gas-fueled property tax growth.

Read more in Sean’s blog post out today.

elbow-children-line.jpg

Follow Us on Twitter and Facebook!

Do you miss us throughout the week? Don’t just wait for Friday’s Budget Beat. Stay in touch on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

fb_like_thumbs.jpg

Have You Gotten Your Early Bird Discount for the Third Annual Budget Breakfast?

Take advantage of the early bird discount for this year’s Budget Breakfast by registering today!

This year’s keynote speaker is Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, presenting, “Tax Cuts Poor Strategy for Shared Prosperity: Lessons from North Carolina.”

The event will kick-off with Ted’s annual preview of the governor’s upcoming budget. Join us on January 19 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center!

BACKcropped

Now Hiring!

Try This West Virginia is hiring an assistant director! This is a dream job for somebody who cares passionately about helping West Virginians build healthier communities.

The perfect candidate is a hardworking, effective person who knows how to make things happen. If that sounds like somebody you know – or if it sounds like you – please read the job description and forward it to people you think would be interested.

Growing Property Tax Revenue Changing K-12 Funding

This week the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report on the state of K-12 funding since the Great Recession. The main takeaway from the report was that most states are providing less support per student for K-12 now than before the recession, and that some states are still cutting K-12 funding, eight years after the recession. The report surveys budget documents in all 50 states, when data were available.

While pre-recession data for West Virginia weren’t available, the report did show that West Virginia had the biggest cut in per-student state K-12 education in the past year, with state formula funding per student falling by 3.3% from 2015 to 2016.

The report notes that the main reasons for state cuts to K-12 after the recession include weak revenues from a slowly growing economy, falling federal aid, and in some states, tax cuts. Cuts to state funding usually create problems for local districts trying to make up the difference. In most states, property values fell sharply after the recession hit, making it difficult for local school districts to raise revenue to offset state spending cuts, and forcing many school districts to scale back services.

However, that’s not the case in West Virginia. While West Virginia had the biggest cut in state funding in the past year, it was because school districts have had rapidly growing property tax revenues. To explain why that happened, here’s a quick lesson in K-12 funding in West Virginia:

West Virginia’s school aid formula determines a base level of funding for each school district, based on factors like enrollment and population density. Once the base level is calculated, the local share is calculated. The local share is determined by school district property tax revenue, with the school current expenses levy  applied to all taxable property in each county. A portion of the property tax raised by school districts, the local share, is subtracted from the base level of funding. The difference between the base level and the local share is the amount the state provides to the school districts.

In recent years, property tax revenue in West Virginia has seen substantial growth, due in large part to natural gas drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale. This growth in property tax revenue has affected the school aid formula, increasing the local share, and reducing the state’s share, in effect making it appear the state is providing less funding.

For example, in FY15, the school aid formula set the base level of total funding for K-12 at $1.620 billion, with the local share set at $432.6 million and the state’s share set at $1.19 billion. For FY16, the base level of funding didn’t change much, falling to $1.605 billion, $14.7 million or 0.9% lower than FY15, as enrollment decreased and a number of experienced teachers retired. But the the state and local shares did change. The state’s share fell by $40 million or 3.4%, while the local share increased by $23 million or 5.3%. But as mentioned above, the local share calculation is dependent on property tax revenue. And school property tax revenue grew by $52 million in 2015, an increase of 5.0%, after growing by 1.2% the year before.

So unlike in other states, West Virginia hasn’t been cutting K-12 funding because of budgetary pressures (it HAS been cutting higher education funding), instead the state’s share of K-12 funding through the school aid formula has fallen due to natural-gas-fueled property tax growth.

 

Appalachian Coal, “Right to Work” and Budget Basics

The climate change talks in Paris were big news this week, as well as a jury verdict in the Don Blankenship trial. They both have coal in common and the huge role it plays in our local communities and the global stage. 
 
When the nation and the world think of West Virginia, coal is as much a part of the state’s identity as anything else. What is the future of coal here and in the rest of Appalachia? Here’s a national perspective on coal’s future.

Investing in Our Kids, Investing in Our Future

If West Virginia invested in a public, voluntary, high-quality universal prekindergarten program what would the long-term impacts be? The Center for Equitable Growth gave us the numbers this week in its new study on the long-term benefits and costs of investing in a high-quality universal prekindergarten program available to all 3- and 4-year-olds across the United States.


The Racist Roots of “Right to Work”

So-called Right to Work is a likely topic during the 2016 Legislative Session. What is “Right to Work,” how did it start and how many states have passed “Right to Work” legislation? Check out this great read in today’s Charleston Gazette Mail by Rick Wilson with the American Friends Service Committee.

 

Budget Basics

Even though the Budget Bill is the most important piece of legislation that will be voted on in the upcoming legislative session, it can also be one of the most confusing. To get your answers to Budget Basics, register for the 2016 Budget Breakfast (see below) and check out this presentation by Ted on the ABC’s of the West Virginia budget.

 

Have You Gotten Your Early Bird Discount for the Third Annual Budget Breakfast?

Take advantage of the early bird discount for this year’s Budget Breakfast by registering today!

We are pleased to announce this year’s keynote speaker will be Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, presenting, “Tax Cuts Poor Strategy for Shared Prosperity: Lessons from North Carolina.”

The event will kick-off with Ted’s annual preview of the governor’s upcoming budget. Join us on January 19 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center!

BudgetBreakfastFRONT

Thankful for Our Budget Beat Readers

How Much Would a Pro-Work Tax Credit Directly Support Your Community?

This week the Invest in Working Families Coalition launched its new website which shows just how much a pro-work tax credit would help hard-working West Virginians.

State EITC Coalition Coordinator Seth DiStefano kicks off Monday’s event

A West Virginia EITC would help more people keep working despite low wages. When people keep more of what they earn, they can spend it in the economy on necessities like groceries, school supplies, or car repairs. This extra help means kids do better and go further in school, families are healthier, and their economic situation is improved. As a result of getting a better start as children, kids whose families received the EITC are more likely to become productive adults and earn more as adults.

The coalition plans to use its new website to educate lawmakers and members of the community on the specific benefits thousands of West Virginians, and the economies in which they live, would stand to gain by creation of a West Virginia EITC.

Here more in the Beckley Register-Herald, the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the Dominion Post.

Here’s a look at State Senate District 8. Check out your own district here.


West Virginia would become the 27th state to have a state EITC. This would allow families to keep more of what they earn and help people who earn low wages stay on the job.

It would be modeled after the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, an important tax credit for those same hard-working families. Congress has a chance in the next couple of weeks to make temporary improvements in the federal EITC permanent. With one click, you can ask Congress to remember those families.

West Virginia Leads the World in Number of Women Behind Bars

West Virginia incarcerates more women than any other place in the world, the Prison Policy Institute states in a new study.

The report shows that the U.S. incarcerates women far more than nearly all other nations, and is also incarcerating women far more than in the recent past. In fact, the incarceration rate nearly tripled between 1980 and 1990. And West Virginia tops the list.

Source: The Prison Policy Institute
 

Raleigh County Commission Supports Power + Plan

This week the Raleigh County Commission became the latest in West Virginia to pass a resolution supporting the Power + Plan.

Commissioners in Wyoming, Lincoln, Kanawha and Fayette counties have passed similar resolutions and over a dozen have been passed in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. The resolutions urge West Virginia’s Congressional delegation to support federal investment to help spur economic growth in areas of the state struggling with job losses.

Here’s more in the Beckley Register-Herald.

Early Bird Discount for the Third Annual Budget Breakfast – January 19, 2016

Take advantage of the early bird discount for this year’s Budget Breakfast by registering today!

We are pleased to announce this year’s keynote speaker will be Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, presenting, “Tax Cuts Poor Strategy for Shared Prosperity: Lessons from North Carolina.”

The event will kick-off with Ted’s annual preview of the governor’s upcoming budget. Join us on January 19 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center!

thanksgiving-tree-header.jpg

Joining the National Conversation on Black Lives Matter

Supporting a Movement

This week WVCBP staff met up with sister organizations from across the country at the annual State Fiscal Impact Conference in Baltimore.

The opening event of the conference was “Support a Movement: Black Lives Matter and State Fiscal Policy.” The session focused on the role of public policy in creating and sustaining the conditions which continue to limit opportunity for communities of color.

Panelists included Christopher Brown, Director for Financial Security with PolicyLink; Jessica Pierce, National Co-Chair with the Black Youth Project 100, Felicia Pulliam, Development Director with FOCUS St. Louis and Melech Thomas, Minister and Community Activist. The discussion was moderated by WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner.

Ted black lives matter

Ted Boettner, Jessica Pierce and Felicia Pulliam

Nick Johnson (Senior Vice President for State Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities),Ted Boettner, Jessica Pierce, Felicia Pulliam, Melech Thomas and Christopher Brown

Why Are So Many West Virginians Out of the Workforce?

West Virginia’s low level of labor force participation is one of the state’s greatest economic challenges. Improving the state’s participation rate greatly depends on improving the state’s economy by creating more opportunity for its workers. Policies that help workers stay on the job, and stay healthy, will not only improve the state’s labor force participation rate but also its economy. Check out the 2015 State of Working West Virginia for all the details.

SWWV 2015 cover
Introducing the State Earned Income Tax Coalition and New Interactive Website

Join us as we launch the new Invest in Working Families Coalition and its new website!

When: November 16, 2015 12:00 pm

Where: Governor’s Press Conference Room (off the Secretary of State’s office)

Why: See how your county would benefit from a West Virginia EITC

A state EITC would make it easier for lower-paid workers to make ends meet and afford basic necessities like childcare and transportation. With families with very low wages, the credit increases with every dollar earned, which encourages them to work more hours. That additional experience in the workforce can lead to higher pay and better opportunities, helping to put their family on a better path.

EITC tshirt Jennifer

Early Bird Discount for the Third Annual Budget Breakfast – January 19, 2016

Take advantage of the early bird discount for this year’s Budget Breakfast by registering today!

We are pleased to announce this year’s keynote speaker will be Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, presenting, “Tax Cuts Poor Strategy for Shared Prosperity: Lessons from North Carolina.”

The event will kick-off with Ted’s annual preview of the governor’s upcoming budget. Join us on January 19 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center!

Kanawha County Joins Others Supporting Federal Assistance for Coalfields

Kanawha County Commission Passes Resolution to Create Jobs in Coalfields

After several meetings to take up the issue, last night the Kanawha County Commission unanimously passed a resolution calling for federal action to invest in coalfield communities, which is very similar to the POWER+ Plan included in President Obama’s FY 2016 budget. Commissioners in Wyoming, Lincoln, and Fayette Counties have passed similar resolutions and over a dozen have been passed in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. The resolutions urge West Virginia’s Congressional delegation to support federal investment to help spur economic growth in areas of the state struggling with job losses. Here’s more in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

KC Commission resolution
Introducing the State Earned Income Tax Coalition and New Interactive Website

Join us as we launch the new West Virginia Earned Income Tax Coalition and its new website!

When: November 16, 2015 12:00 pm

Where: Governor’s Press Conference Room (off the Secretary of State’s office)

Why: See how your county would benefit from a West Virginia EITC

RSVP Contact: Tara Martinez 304.720.8682 (please RSVP to reserve lunch)

A state EITC would make it easier for lower-paid workers to make ends meet and afford basic necessities like childcare and transportation. With families with very low wages, the credit increases with every dollar earned, which encourages them to work more hours. That additional experience in the workforce can lead to higher pay and better opportunities, helping to put their family on a better path.

EITC tshirt Jennifer
A Reminder on Veterans Day

Remind Congress to support hard working West Virginians, including 15,000 veteran and military families, this Veterans Day who rely on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit to make ends meet. Click here to send your message to our leaders in Washington. 

Veterans Day Facebook

Join Our Team as a Fellow or Intern!

Need college credits? Interested in working in the community to help low-income families? Apply to be a WVCBP’s intern or fellow. With several options available, there is sure to be something to fit your schedule.

back_view_of_happy_student.jpg

Early Bird Discount for the Third Annual Budget Breakfast – January 19, 2016

Take advantage of the early bird discount for this year’s Budget Breakfast by registering today!

We are pleased to announce this year’s keynote speaker will be Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, presenting, “Tax Cuts Poor Strategy for Shared Prosperity: Lessons from North Carolina.”

The event will kick-off with Ted’s annual preview of the governor’s upcoming budget. Join us on January 19 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center!

BudgetBreakfastFRONT

Don’t Miss This Bloodcurdling Budget Beat

halloween-header3.gif

 

Our Latest Spine-Chilling Reports

There’s been some scary talk about tax overhaul in recent months.

One option that appears to be on the table for legislators is eliminating or reducing the business personal property tax. This reliable, constant revenue stream helps maintain West Virginia schools which would be forced to choose between cutting back in the classroom or possibly imposing a higher property tax on West Virginia homeowners. For much more, check out “Ending Business Personal Property Tax Ineffective Way to Boost West Virginia Economy.”

Business personal property taxes account for almost $1 in every $5 of all property taxes paid in West Virginia.

Another frightfully good read is our latest Fast Facts: Encouraging Work Key to Reducing Poverty, a quick low-down on why preserving the federal Earned Income Tax Credit is so important to West Virginia’s working families.

angry_pumpkin.jpg
Take a minute out of your Friday for this quick action, calling on Senators Manchin and Capito to preserve the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Congress will soon begin debate on extending, or making permanent, tax credits for businesses. They need to be reminded that tens of thousands of working West Virginia families rely on the EITC to put food on the table.

How can you help? Sign this online petition asking Senators Manchin and Capito to fight for working West Virginia families!

Take Action for Racial Equity – November 3

Taking Action for Racial Equality is an opportunity to join a team to work on a racial justice issue, such as reducing racial disparities in arrests in Charleston, Second Chance Employment Act + Let Me Drive, Let Me Work (both criminal justice reforms), juvenile justice reform, voter engagement, affordable housing on the West Side/East End, and racial justice dialogue and education in schools and in the faith community.

Please join us at the Wilson Student Union, WV State University on Tuesday, November 3 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

This is your chance to take action to address the treatment concerning people of color that exists in this country and the deep, systemic racial disparities that exist in our state. West Virginians from all over the state are coming together to discuss concrete action plans to ensure Racial Equality in West Virginia. Find your role in the movement and meet us there!


Reminder: Registration Open for Race Matters Summit in Lewisburg

Time is running out to register for next month’s Race Matters Summit in Lewisburg, taking place November 10 and 11 at the Kyle and Ann Fort Arts & Sciences Building, New River Community and Technical College.

The conference will offer a unique opportunity for people from throughout West Virginia to continue the constructive, in-depth conversations that began last year in Charleston about the complicated history of race relations and racial inequality in the state.

Go here to register or contact Courtney Smith, 304-645-5620.

Stay in touch at RaceMattersWV.net for upcoming events and how you can stay involved in the campaign to end racial inequity in West Virginia.

Untitled-1
Register Now for Kids and Families Day 2016 – January 28, 2016

There is one special day each year at the Capitol when everyday kids, families and community leaders really make their voices heard!

Click here to register as an individual, sponsor or presenter for the 2016 Kids and Families Day.

This year there are limited scholarships available for bus and van transportation. Contact Jennifer for more information.

One Click to Help Working West Virginia Families

Tax Reform Committee Hears from the Public

On Tuesday, the Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform opened its meeting up to speakers from the public and organizations wishing to address its members.

Ted’s presentation to the Committee provided recommendations to address West Virginia’s chronic budget shortfall and cuts to programs such as higher education.

Ted at 10.20.15 public hearing
The Committee has heard testimony from national organizations recommending reducing or eliminating the personal income tax, as well as other taxes. Ted reminded the Committee that ten years of tax cuts have already packed a punch to the state budget, causing cuts across the board, with more announced just a couple of weeks ago.

10 years of tax cuts
Here’s coverage of the day in the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the Beckley Register-Herald.

Support Powerful Anti-Poverty, Pro-Work Tax Credit

This fall our members of Congress will have the chance to show that they support hard-working low-income families. Important provisions of two anti-poverty, pro-work policies, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), are set to expire unless Congress acts to save them. By doing so, Congress will give low-income families a hand-up, not a hand out, to pay for basic necessities like child care and transportation that help them work while taking care of their families.

How can you help? Sign this online petition asking Senators Manchin and Capito to fight for working West Virginia families!

working-family-tax-credits-CBPP
Drug Testing Public Assistance Recipients

During this week’s interims, legislators revisited the topic of drug testing people who receive food stamps and other public assistance.

In this story by WV Public Broadcasting, WVCBP’s Sean O’Leary explains that in many cases this policy costs more than it saves.


Breakfast with Author Eric Foner

Getting some one-on-one time this morning with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Columbia University History Professor Eric Foner are, from left to right, WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner, David Evans, Mr. Foner, Reverend Matthew Watts, and American Friends Service Committee Director Rick Wilson. Professor Foner gave a lecture about Reconstruction last night at the University of Charleston. It was part of the McCreight Lecture in the Humanities series and was sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council. Here’s more in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Breakfast with Foner
Reminder: Public Hearing on Proposed 28% Rate Increase

The Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, October 26th on West Virginia American Water’s proposed 28% rate increase. The hearing begins at 6:00 PM at the Public Service Commission (201 Brooks St., Charleston). Please plan to be there at 5:30 pm.

For more information about the case, see the OurWater blog.

 

Reminder: Registration Open for Race Matters Summit in Lewisburg

Registration is open for the Summit on Race Matters: Continuing Conversations, taking place in the Alumni Center of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine on November 10 and 11, 2015.

The conference will offer a unique opportunity for people from throughout West Virginia to continue the constructive, in-depth conversations that began last year in Charleston about the complicated history of race relations and racial inequality in the state.

Go here to register or contact Courtney Smith, 304-645-5620.

Please “like” the event on Facebook and spread the word about this exciting and important program.

Stay in touch at RaceMattersWV.net for upcoming events and how you can stay involved in the campaign to end racial inequity in West Virginia.

jack-o-lantern.jpg