For too long, West Virginia's business climate has been rated as one of the worst in the nation. This unfavorable rating scares off new business investment and forces would-be job creators to locate their businesses in surrounding states where tax rates are lower and the legal system is fair.
Every dollar that small businesses pay in West Virginia taxes is a dollar that isn't used for job creation. We must quickly move to adopt a tax structure that is competitive with surrounding states. With some of the highest business taxes in the nation, immediate comprehensive tax reform is the only solution. At a minimum, we must eliminate the bizarre Business Franchise Tax, which as described by West Virginia's state tax department, is "a tax on the privilege of doing business in this State."
Further, we must adopt sweeping reforms to bring our broken legal system into the 21st Century. Leading pro-jobs organizations consistently rank our legal system as the worst in the nation. In fact, our reputation for runaway jury verdicts, biased judges, and partisan politics entering the courtroom have driven countless jobs out of our state. Our current legal system rewards wealthy personal injury attorneys at the expense of jobs. Certainly, our state would benefit from more jobs, not more lawsuits.
Once we cut the size of government, reduce taxes, reform our biased legal system, and adopt a business climate that rewards job creation, we can give our state's large and small businesses the opportunity to prosper.