Play it safe and face higher taxes, or take some risks and reap the rewards. That's the choice facing West Virginia taxpayers who must decide whether to amend their state's constitution to allow the state to cash in on the soaring success of the stock market.
It's not just a discussion about investment philosophy. According to House Speaker Bob Kiss, D-Raleigh, if the state isn't allowed to invest in more lucrative investments, the legislature will have to raise taxes next year by $100 million. But Kiss told The Associated Press in Charleston that he did not want anyone to "construe that as a threat."
The state faces a dilemma, Kiss said, because it must figure out how to pay for a $3.7 billion debt to the teachers' retirement system. Payments on that debt cost the state $200 million this year, but $100 million in new money will be needed next year.