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Robert M. Sellards

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said that “taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” Justice Holmes was correct in that statement, and without taxes, essential government services would cease to function. A question that should be asked is what to do when the government is collecting more money than it needs.

Last fiscal year the State of West Virginia collected $1.3 billion dollars more than it expected. $1.3 billion over the expected $4.58 billion. This year the state is already on course to match or even exceed the same budget surplus. The state’s rainy day fund was hovering around $1 billion this spring, though it can fluctuate a little with market trends. When looking at the combined surpluses of fiscal years 2022 and 2023 (projected), plus the rainy day fund, that all adds up to $3.6 billion. Pretty soon we’re going to start talking about real money!

Robert M. Sellards is a Huntington attorney.

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