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Lawmakers study sin taxes in W.Va.
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia ranks third in the United States in the percentage of state revenue that comes from so-called “sin taxes,” lawmakers considering ways to revamp the state’s tax system were told Tuesday.

More than 11 percent of the state’s budget is funded by gambling, alcohol and tobacco — and most of that money comes from casino and video lottery revenue, according to a Governing...


State school board seeks Common Core lawsuit dismissal
By Samuel Speciale, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

In a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the West Virginia Board of Education, attorneys representing the state’s chief school policymakers say one Republican’s attempts to shutter the use of Common Core standards is nothing more than a political campaign.

The Charleston-based law firm Bailey and Glasser is asking the state Supreme Court of Appeals to...


Coalition argues for tax changes 'that work'
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Offering a counterpoint to the ongoing meetings of the legislative Joint Committee on Tax Reform, a coalition of education, faith, labor and community-based organizations called on legislators Tuesday to pursue tax changes that they said would benefit all West Virginians.

Declaring “you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service...


State school superintendent says may be time to change aid formula
Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said Tuesday on MetroNews ‘Talkline’ that he’s taking an audit of the state School Aid Formula seriously but he doesn’t believe the department did anything wrong.

A legislative audit released Sunday said allocations to school districts were miscalculated from 2009-2015 and some...


Business tax cuts not working as planned
By Phil Kabler, Statehouse Beat, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss was being brutally frank recently. He conceded that business tax cuts enacted in 2008 have helped create a “structural imbalance” that is contributing to near-monthly revenue shortfalls that over the past two years have forced severe spending and program cuts just to balance the state budget.

With most agencies and programs at the...