Proposed advertising tax gets resistance from eastern panhandle small business

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — Small business in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle is mobilizing to kill the sweeping tax plan proposed by Governor Jim Justice and making its way through the state legislature in Charleston.

A spike in taxes advertisers would have to pay to reach customers — on a radio station, for example — is facing opposition. The governor’s plan seeks to eliminate the state income tax completely but replace it with higher sales taxes. Jared Parsons with the Pikewood Media Group says West Virginians in border counties will just cross state lines to avoid paying the higher West Virginia tax.

“In West Virginia, if these bills pass, we will have the highest consumer sales tax in the nation,” said Parsons. “It sends an anti-business signal and, more importantly, gives an unfair advantage to out-of-state competitors.”

On his recent visit to the eastern panhandle for a town hall to promote his tax plan, Governor Justice said he expects increased revenue generated from business activity to more than offset the higher advertising tax.

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