Analysts Critical of Likely Legislative Approach to WV Budget

West Virginia Public News Service - Even with a 45-cent cigarette tax increase, budget analysts say state lawmakers look likely to lean too heavily on cuts and one-time money. Bowing to an anti-tax faction in the House, state senators have been working on a tobacco tax boost smaller than they passed in March. Observers say the tobacco tax may be the only new revenue approved by the special budget gap session. Read

Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, says it still leaves too large a hole to fill with cuts and temporary patches.

"Legislators would still have to try to find either an additional hundred and $28 million in cuts, or $128 million in revenue," he said. "And we can't continue to kick the can down the road. That's why we need additional revenue to help deal with our budget problem today and tomorrow."

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