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Taxation: West Virginians deserve better services

West Virginians who feel as though they aren’t quite getting their money’s worth out of Charleston saw a little confirmation recently. A WalletHub study — 2020’s States with the Best and Worst Taxpayer (Return on Investment) — showed the Mountain State ranked 36th in the nation in terms of being well served by those charged with using their money for the good of the people who send it.

For West Virginia, the ranking broke down to being 25th in the nation for the amount paid in taxes, but 39th when it comes to overall government services. To get a little perspective, our friends across the river in Ohio see a 6th-in-the-nation ranking when it comes to taxpayer ROI.

WalletHub’s study further broke out rankings for overall government spending in five categories: education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution. We find ourselves in familiar territory in most of the categories, 45th on education, 42nd on health, 21st on safety, 50th on economy and 35th on infrastructure/pollution.

We are 46th in the categories of “worst school system” and “highest percentage of residents in poverty.”

But, again, we are 25th in terms of the amount of money each taxpayer sends to state and local governments.

Bold talk of rightsizing government — rooting out fraud, waste and incompetence, and making government truly serve the people — has faded a bit in the past four years. King Bureaucracy got its hooks into even those who swore things were going to be different in Charleston.

Mountain State residents deserve better. We have not forgotten the officials we elected and the bureaucrats they then appointed serve US, not the other way around. November will give us a good opportunity to make sure we do, indeed, get our money’s worth.

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