Put senior tax cuts over corporate tax credits

Stephanie Zucker, Morgantown

While many seniors struggle to survive, our state has repeatedly cut taxes on billion dollar out-of-state corporations. Meanwhile, West Virginia legislators insist on continuing to tax senior citizens’ earned Social Security benefits.

West Virginia is one of only 13 states that taxes Social Security. Ten of those states have partial tax exemptions for Social Security, which means that West Virginia is among only three states (along with Minnesota and NorthDakota) that have no state-level exemptions for Social Security.

If West Virginia joins the other 47 states who have moved to help their seniors, the 320,000 senior West Virginians who rely on Social Security are estimated to save tens of millions of dollars each year.

Most of what our seniors save in taxes will be spent in their home communities, supporting our local economies.

On the other hand, corporate tax breaks (along with massive corporate profits) generally go out of state and don’t help our communities.

Our senior citizens, most of whom are on fixed incomes, are facing increasing pressures due to severe problems facing our state. Many don’t have their adult children nearby to help them because so many working adults have to move out of state for better job opportunities. Some retirees have also taken on raising their grandchildren because of our addiction epidemic.

Seniors, and all our people, deserve to have their needs put above the profits of billion dollar corporations.

Why is our Legislature putting corporate tax cuts over helping our seniors retain their dignity and independence?

It’s time for West Virginia to fully exempt Social Security benefits from state income taxes.

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