Charleston, WV - A group of Democratic lawmakers in the House of Delegates has proposed legislation that will provide additional revenue to the State Road Fund. House Bill 4570, continuing certain severance taxes that are dedicated to the Workers' Compensation Debt Reduction Fund towards the State Road Fund upon satisfaction of debt, will redirect revenue from the Workers’ Compensation surcharge tax on coal, natural gas and oil to the State Road Fund after certification that the Workers’ Compensation debt is paid in its entirety.
“Every dollar in state revenue is crucial to the future of West Virginia and our ability to provide much needed services to our state’s residents,” Delegate Mick Bates (D-Raleigh) stated. “West Virginia residents want good, safe roads to drive on,” he continued. “Fixing our roads has to be a top priority for the Legislature.”
A contrary bill moving through the legislative process is Senate Bill 419, Relating to termination of Workers' Compensation Debt Reduction Act. This legislation would end the Workers’ Compensation surcharge tax paid by coal, natural gas and oil companies effective June 30th of this year. Under this proposal, small businesses and taxpayer monies would still be required to pay into the Workers’ Compensation Debt Reduction. “Why should the industries who, in large part, created the Workers’ Compensation debt in the first place, be relieved from sharing the responsibility?” Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-Harrison) questioned.
“We will continue to stand up for small businesses and oppose corporate giveaways,” Miley pledged. “It’s unfair that large corporations will receive a break under Senate Bill 419 - but small businesses and taxpayers are still on the hook for paying down the Workers’ Compensation debt.”
Both sponsors praised the Democratic proposal as a jobs bill that will put West Virginians back to work. “This bill will dedicate approximately five hundred million dollars to the State Road Fund over the next five years,” Delegate Bates stated. “Those monies will translate to thousands of construction jobs and much needed repairs and upgrades to our state’s infrastructure system,” he added.
House Bill 4570, Continuing certain severance taxes that are dedicated to the Workers' Compensation Debt Reduction Fund towards the State Road Fund upon satisfaction of debt, was introduced on Tuesday, February 16, and referred to the Committee on Finance. The legislation is sponsored by Delegates Mick Bates (D-Raleigh), Tim Miley (D-Harrison), Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio), Jim Morgan (D-Cabell), Steven Shaffer (D-Preston), Nancy Guthrie (D-Kanawha), Tim Manchin (D-Marion), Barbara Fleischauer (D-Monongalia), Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell), Don Perdue (D-Wayne) and Clif Moore (D-Wyoming).