Charleston, West Virginia – In a surprising move, Republican Governor Jim Justice has unveiled a bold plan to completely eliminate Social Security taxes in West Virginia. This proposal, announced during his final State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 10, aims to wipe out all taxes that can be applied to Social Security, following a series of tax rate reductions on state-funded income. The governor emphasized his commitment to tax cuts, stating that the 23 tax reductions implemented since he took office in 2017 would be supplemented by three additional cuts in his budget, including the elimination of the Social Security tax.
Governor Justice’s proposal is a continuation of efforts that began in 2019 when West Virginia initiated the gradual elimination of Social Security taxes for individuals with incomes below specified thresholds. The plan provided a partial exemption on benefits for eligible taxpayers, eventually leading to 100% exemption in 2022. However, Justice’s new proposal seeks to extend the exemption to all Social Security recipients, regardless of their income level.
The majority of Americans are subject to federal income tax on their Social Security retirement benefits, with some SSA payments excluded from taxation. While Social Security is generally not subject to state taxes in most states, the taxation of retirement benefits varies depending on the state of residence. A notable aspect of Justice’s proposal is that it has garnered support from the AARP, a prominent advocate for the elderly and retired citizens. Representatives from AARP West Virginia expressed their surprise and delight at the proposal, emphasizing the importance of exerting influence to fully eliminate the tax on Social Security.
This move could have significant implications for seniors and retirees in West Virginia, as it aligns with efforts to alleviate financial burdens on this demographic. With Justice’s proposal receiving praise from advocacy groups and stakeholders, it is poised to generate significant discussion and debate as it progresses through the legislative process. As the debate unfolds, lawmakers, economists, and interest groups will likely provide further analysis and insights into the potential impacts and benefits of this proposed tax cut for Social Security recipients in the state.