Saving Money

No doubt a few active and retired West Virginia state employees are upset about Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of a bill passed earlier this year by the Legislature. But the governor was right to kill the measure.

Lawmakers approved a bill to allow retired Division of Natural Resources police officers to deduct their pensions from income subject to state taxation. State officials estimated about 90 retirees would have been affected by the measure, had Tomblin signed it.

But the governor wisely declined to put his signature on the bill. He said he had reservations “about providing disparate tax treatment to a very narrow class of retirees …”

Tomblin added he was worried other state retirees might sue the state, seeking similar tax breaks.

Legislators should have thought of those concerns before they approved the bill. Lawmakers for many years have listened favorably to small groups seeking special treatment, but the governor is right to decide now is a good time to kick the habit.

His veto may well save the state a substantial amount of money in the future.