While some teachers have received pay increases based upon

How Tax Cuts Led To West Virginia

canada goose coats on sale Striking teachers and other public employees in West Virginia have shut down schools across the state for more than a week, flooding the capitol in Charleston each day to rebuke their lawmakers. The workers are demanding significant raises to their stagnant pay and a clear plan to curb rising premiums in the state employee health care program. canada goose coats on sale

Canada Goose online If only someone could have foreseen such a state of affairs. Canada Goose online

“They’re saying we can’t afford it,” Ted Boettner, director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said of legislators. “Well, we can’t afford it because we’ve done these large tax cuts.”

Canada Goose Parka A decade ago, West Virginia began gradually winding down certain business taxes that could have helped pay for the across the board raises that teachers haven’t seen in four years. They also could have helped fill canada goose outlet michigan the funding shortfall in the Public Employee Insurance Agency, or PEIA, which many workers list as their top concern. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Online Instead, lawmakers are staring down budget gaps as they try to resolve a historic strike that has shuttered schools in all 55 counties and galvanized austerity weary residents. But workers doubted lawmakers would follow through on the deal and vowed to continue their walkout. Canada Goose Online

Their skepticism was well founded. Three days later, the state Senate still hasn’t approved Justice’s proposal. Many lawmakers have doubted the governor’s numbers and questioned whether the money is there for the raises.

canada goose uk shop Although Republicans now control both canada goose outlet uk fake chambers of the statehouse, the tax cuts that squeezed the state budget were a bipartisan undertaking. Then Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat who’s now one of the state’s two senators in Washington, had urged legislators to pursue the tax cuts in 2006, arguing that canada goose outlet reviews West Virginia needed to slash taxes on corporations in order to be competitive with other states. canada goose uk shop

canada goose Over the following years, the state wound down its corporate net income tax rate from 9 to 6.5 percent, and phased out its business franchise tax. It also canada goose outlet florida slashed its tax on groceries from six to three percent, and later did away with it entirely under Manchin’s successor, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin. Over the same span, the state also created a family tax credit, increased its homestead exemption and got rid of an alternative minimum tax and corporate charter tax, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. canada goose

canada goose coats All told, those cuts diminished state revenue https://www.canadagooseparka.co.uk by more than $425 million each year, the center estimates. canada goose coats

They’re saying we can’t afford it. Well, we can’t afford it because we’ve done these large tax cuts.

Ted Boettner, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

As the Charleston Gazette Mail reported in 2016, Manchin later questioned the wisdom of the tax cuts he’d championed once the state was facing a budget hole of $353 million. “I don’t know if you say they’re the right or canada goose outlet london uk wrong move, but you’ve got to be competitive,” Manchin told the paper. “I couldn’t be at 9 percent corporate tax and expect corporations to stay here if they didn’t have to.”

canada goose uk black friday Much canada goose outlet in canada like the Republican leaders who recently fast tracked federal tax cuts through Congress, West Virginia leaders sought their cuts at a time when their economy was doing relatively well, with strong coal prices. But coal operators got battered by the shale boom and cheap natural gas, driving down demand for coal production. The industry’s travails have closed mines and crimped tax revenue. canada goose uk black friday

canada goose factory sale In the meantime, teachers and other public employees have been asked to tighten their belts. While some teachers have received pay increases based upon length of tenure, the state has not boosted the overall payscale since 2014. West Virginia now ranks 48th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in teacher pay, according to the National Education Association. The average teacher pay in the state is $45,622, though many educators interviewed over the past week said they earn well below that amount. canada goose factory sale

One teacher, Rebecca Diamond, told HuffPost that she has 19 years on the job and earns just $39,000. She has canada goose outlet usa to work official canada goose outlet weekend shifts handling a register at Hardee’s for $8.75 an hour in order to support her family. The lack of raises combined with rising health care costs has meant that some workers have watched their take home pay go down in recent canada goose outlet in uk years. Employees have insisted that the state come up with a long term plan to curb PEIA premium hikes.

As of Friday, teachers across the state were still on picket lines and protesting at the state capitol. County by county, they will determine if schools remain closed into next week. So far, not a single one of the state’s 55 counties has reopened its cheap canada goose schools a clear sign of the strike’s backbone and the pent up frustration of workers.

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