U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., touted his state’s economic performance in an Aug. 14 tweet.

He tweeted, “West Virginia’s economic comeback continues. Personal income tax collections up 14% from 2017. Most people working is good news.”


The unemployment rate in West Virginia has been steady at either 5.3 percent or 5.4 percent since September 2017, lower than the state’s rate for most of the period between 2009 and 2016.

Here, though, we’ll focus on McKinley’s claim about tax collections.

To support this point, McKinley linked to an article in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel. However, the 14 percent figure doesn’t appear in the article. So we decided to take a closer look.

We turned to the official state budget website and looked at the revenue collection data for July going back to 2000. This data does support McKinley’s data point.

In July 2018, the state collected $145,494,000 in personal income tax revenues. By comparison, in July 2017, the state collected $128,146,000. That’s an increase of 13.5 percent, which rounds up to 14 percent — just as McKinley tweeted.

For historical perspective, that’s well below the largest increases, but it’s the third highest year-over-year increase since 2001.

Our ruling

McKinley wrote that in West Virginia, “personal income tax collections (were) up 14% from 2017.”

That’s correct when you compare income tax collections in July 2018 to July 2017. It’s also the third-largest July-to-July improvement since 2001. We rate the statement True.

This story was originally published by PolitiFact.

Creative Commons License

This article was originally published by 100 Days in Appalachia, a nonprofit, collaborative newsroom telling the complex stories of the region that deserve to be heard. Sign up for their weekly newsletter here.