Saturday, February 18, 2006

With State Running 9-Figure Budget Surplus, Fayette Delegates Seek to Tax Bottled Water

A tax on water. We in West Virginia have long known that someday, someone would propose this tax. This week, Delegates David Perry and John Pino, both D-Fayette, have proposed taxing bottled water to support expanded academic offerings at WVU-Tech in Montgomery.

Thanks to the nation's third highest state tax burden per dollar of per capita income, our state treasury is running a surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars this year. Yet, to support a local program, these two delegates seek to tax one of the most basic necessities of life. In a state where far too many people still do not have public water service and must purchase bottled water for personal consumption by necessity, we now face a proposed tax on bottled water.

To stymie calls for tax relief, leaders of the Ruling Party have put an equal damper on new spending programs. So now, left with no access to surplus funds and few things left to tax, some of our legislators want to tax the water we drink.