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Subsidies Were Bad Idea for W.Va.

July 6, 2013
By THE INTELLIGENCER , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

The foolishness of taxpayer subsidies of politically correct causes - chief among them, "alternative" energy - is not confined to Washington. West Virginians have been doing it, too.

Finally, during the legislative session earlier this year, lawmakers agreed to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's request that they kill state tax breaks for hybrid and electric vehicles. The credits amounted to as much as $7,500 for passenger cars.

But the action may have sparked a shopping spree among some car buyers.

During June alone, $29 million in alternative-fuel vehicle credits were claimed. That drained money needed badly to keep the state's budget in balance.

How badly? Just before the fiscal year ended, state officials had to take nearly $20 million from a Medicaid reserve account to avoid a deficit.

West Virginians had no business subsidizing electric and hybrid cars in the first place. Let's hope the expensive lesson prompts legislators to avoid similar fiascoes in the future.

 
 

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