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EZ Pass and Income Tax Deductions
I am an avid fan of the automatic toll-paying service EZ Pass because I cannot stand waiting in line. If everyone had EZ Pass, tolls lines would move much quicker, so naturally I want more people to get EZ Pass tags.
West Virginia lawmakers obviously share my zeal for less congestion and shorter lines. Unfortunately, we disagree on how to entice more people to sign up for the time-saving program.
From the Charleston Gazette:
Under the new law, residents with the EZ Pass will be able to deduct up to $1,200 a year in Turnpike tolls and pass costs on their income taxes.
Even though I want more people using EZ Pass, I don't want the tax code used as an incentive. (Apparently the time benefit isn't enough for some people-hard to believe.)
Riddling West Virginia's income tax base with more holes only serves to keep tax rates high-West Virginia's top income tax rate is 6.5 percent on income over $60,000.
West Virginia lawmakers should work to broaden the income tax base so the rates could be lowered instead of offering new deductions. A broader-based tax with lower rates would make West Virginia's income tax simpler, more efficient and fairer for all West Virginia taxpayers.
With all the savings, everyone in West Virginia could drive the excellent roads the state enjoys and experience the wonder of EZ Pass!
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About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.