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Budget Beat – May 15, 2015

While Other States Restoring Higher Education Funding, West Virginia Continues Cuts

The Great Recession was hard on state budgets with many legislators making the tough choice of cutting funding to higher education. With the recovery well underway, many states are restoring funding to their colleges and universities. This is not the case in West Virginia, which led the nation in 2015 by cutting per-student funding by 2.3 percent. Since 2008, West Virginia has cut higher education funding by over $2,000 per student. This has resulted in average tuition increasing by over 32 percent since 2008.

The hole in West Virginia’s budget was not as much caused by the Recession, however, as by the reduction of business taxes and elimination of the food tax, without replacing that lost revenue, causing West Virginia’s college students to pick up the tab.

Here’s more in this week’s Charleston Gazette and the State Journal.

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Why Gutting the Personal Income Tax Doesn’t Work

West Virginia policymakers need to look no further than Kansas and Maine if they want to know what happens when a state cuts its personal income tax. Such a large part of a state’s budget is important to maintain our schools, roads, police protection and higher education.

At nearly half of the state budget, cutting or eliminating West Virginia’s personal income tax would make it a challenge to maintain these vital services. For more, here is Ted’s blog post, a first in a series about the importance of West Virginia’s personal income tax.

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Who Benefits from Tax Cuts?

Do income tax cuts create jobs? Not with small businesses. In fact, most tax payers are not in the position to create jobs, with or without a tax break. Read more here from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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