CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In an op-ed for The State Journal, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) outlines the need for comprehensive tax reform and explains how it can enhance growth and create more job opportunities for West Virginians.
“In addition to making businesses more competitive, comprehensive tax reform can provide tax relief for families and lead to more jobs in West Virginia, higher wages for workers and increased economic prosperity. We need to create an environment that leads to more investment in our state and continued job growth,” wrote Senator Capito.
View the op-ed here and below.
Enhancing Growth in West Virginia
By: U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
The State Journal
September 18, 2017
“West Virginia’s economy is showing signs of progress and there is reason to be optimistic about our state’s future.
“Recent economic numbers demonstrate this positive news. In the first quarter of 2017, West Virginia’s GDP grew by 3 percent, the second fastest growth of any state in the nation. While one quarter of growth is not a trend, it does demonstrate the potential for a strong economic recovery.
“Still, there is much more we need to do in Washington and across West Virginia to continue this positive momentum. For the last eight years, regulation after regulation targeted our state, eliminating jobs and making building new energy infrastructure and construction projects more difficult. Too many of our communities and families continue to suffer from this economic downturn.
“In Washington, a new administration and Republican-led Congress, are helping West Virginia turn a corner.
“Our state’s universities are also leading the way. Not only are they realizing new research and preparing students for the careers of tomorrow, they have thrown their weight behind the need for major economic development across West Virginia.
“A new report from the West Virginia Forward collaboration detailed our state’s economic needs and development prospects. The report recognizes many of the initiatives I am championing.
“First, the need to improve access to high-speed broadband through efforts like my Capito Connect plan.
“Second, ensuring that our coal and natural gas reserves are used for both energy production and for downstream manufacturing jobs. With the Trump Administration and others, I am working to develop a regional ethane storage hub that will serve West Virginia and our neighboring states. This project has tremendous potential and will lead to more jobs here.
“Third, the need to capitalize on research and development at our universities. A new focus on commercialization of this research and development into startup companies will help boost the state’s recovery.
“Finally, we need to expand access to capital for businesses of all types, including the small businesses that employ half of West Virginia’s private sector workers. This includes legislation like my Creating Opportunities for Rural Economies Act. It will spur new investment in communities that are facing economic challenges because of job loss in the coal industry.
“To further these efforts and fully realize our economic potential, I believe that Congress must also deliver on tax reform for both businesses and individuals.
“Among the biggest drags on our nation’s economy in recent years have been excessive regulation and a tax code that is not competitive with the rest of the world. While we have made progress in Washington to ease the regulatory burden, now is the time to enact meaningful tax reform.
“In addition to making businesses more competitive, comprehensive tax reform can provide tax relief for families and lead to more jobs in West Virginia, higher wages for workers and increased economic prosperity. We need to create an environment that leads to more investment in our state and continued job growth.
“West Virginian and former Cisco CEO John Chambers had it right when he said we’re “dealin’ with a tax system that is a dinosaur.”
“Last month, I hosted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Parkersburg. We heard directly from small business leaders about just how important a simpler tax code with lower rates is for businesses and workers in our state.
“Reforming the tax code will be difficult. But we need to act. Middle class families need relief from the complexity of the current system. They deserve to keep more of their hard-earned income. And our economy benefits when consumers have more money in their pockets.
“We also need to act to maintain America’s competitive edge around the world. Small businesses who power a big part of West Virginia’s economy will benefit from a simpler system.
“Tax reform, as much as any other policy that Congress can advance, will enhance growth in our state and provide more job opportunities for West Virginians. In order to continue this momentum and make West Virginia the best place to live and work, now is the time for tax reform.”
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