The administration's own finance official says budget cuts alone cannot cure a looming $200 million deficit expected next year.
But the governor says the only tax increase he would propose would not be a general hike, and would only be intended to shore up the state's Medicaid expenses.
“The cigarette tax has not been raised since 1976: it's 17-cents. In Ohio, it's now up to 55-cents. We know we have a shortfall in Medicaid, and we know that's a possibility, but in terms of a general tax increase affecting all West Virginians, I haven't called for any in the past, and I don't intend to call for one now,” says Gov. Wise.
Administration secretary Greg Burton says that even if every other agency and office in state government cut spending by ten percent, the savings would total only about $103 million.