West Virginia House backs alternative tax overhaul

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's Republican-controlled House has adopted alternative legislation to cut state income taxes on military pensions and Social Security benefits and increase the personal exemption for incomes below $100,000.

The legislation approved 74-17 on Friday would extend the state's 6 percent sales tax to cell phone and some other services.

It's projected to raise about $100 million to help close the state government's budget deficit.

It differs sharply from legislation pushed by Democratic Gov. Jim Justice and approved by the Republican-controlled Senate to cut all income tax rates by 20 percent and exempt military pensions.

That bill would broaden the sales tax and raise it to 6.95 percent and increase the net corporate income tax from 6.5 to 7.5 percent.

Both houses are scheduled to return next week.

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