Once again last month, West Virginia state government missed its goal for revenue collections, by about $25 million. With less than a month to go in the fiscal year, the state will avoid a deficit only by dint of raiding a reserve fund and spending cuts mandated by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Predictably, there have been calls for tax increases. Most persistent have been those who say West Virginians need to pay more for road and bridge maintenance, or face more crumbling infrastructure.
Mountain State residents, with one of the lowest per capita income figures in the nation, already pay plenty for state government. According to a recent study, West Virginia's per capita state spending, at $10,985, is the second-highest in the nation (behind only Alaska, at $13,741).
West Virginians simply cannot afford higher taxes. Any suggestion to the contrary should be dismissed.