CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Over the past few weeks and months, West Virginia has received word that a number of big companies will be setting up operations here soon. But will they find enough workers?
The year began with Nucor steel announcing a Mason County plant with perhaps 2,000 construction workers and 800 permanent jobs. Then GreenPower Motor Company announced a new South Charleston plant to build battery operated school buses, with hundreds of more jobs.
Last week, Pure Watercraft announced a factory in the Northern Panhandle, again with possibly hundreds of hires. On Friday federal grants to the Appalachian Climate Technologies, or ACT group, came with a possible 3,000 jobs. Without enough West Virginians to fill the positions, there will likely be heavy out-of-state recruitment, and maybe some tax cuts.
“The simple answer is, get rid of our state income tax. I mean you talk about a driver of growth and population to West Virginia, that’s it. And not only that, but it puts big time money right back in the pockets are all the hard working West Virginians in this state,” said Gov. Jim Justice (R) West Virginia.
“I don’t want to sound like a smart you-know-what. But in all honesty if we just tell the truth, for God’s sakes of living, if we’d just get on a pathway to get rid of our state income tax, we’d be covered up with people to fill those jobs, wouldn’t we? You know it and I know it, too,” Justice added.
Now, the House of Delegates was considering a roll back of the personal income tax beginning with a 10% cut this year, with the goal of eventual elimination. The House will be back in special session Monday, but right now the tax bill is not on the agenda, nor is the Senate scheduled to meet.
While we probably won’t see any elimination of the state personal income tax this year, it will likely be a big campaign issue in the November elections.