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:

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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.

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He’s Ready for His Close-Up

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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