The 6 percent tax on food was long one of the state's most resented taxes. And for years, the state's political class refused to do anything about it.
But we are in new territory - and not a second too soon for stressed West Virginia families.
Three years ago, with Gov. Joe Manchin leading the charge, state leaders agreed to cut the food tax gradually, in 1 percentage-point increments, until it stood at 3 percent.
That level will be achieved July 1.
A shopper who spent $100 a week on food and paid $6 in food tax was paying $312 a year for the privilege of, well, living. Now a $100-a-week grocery shopper will give the state $156 a year in food tax.
This reduction is a move in the right direction.
But the state should proceed further along this path, and that requires a change in the discussion.
Manchin has said he favors the gradual elimination of the food tax - if the state can afford it.
Well, that's the thing: The state's leaders still view the food tax in terms of how much money the state can possibly do without. Every 1 percentage-point reduction in the tax costs the state $25 million.
Goodness. How does it make ends meet?
The other way to state the situation is that every percentage point of the state's food tax takes $25 million out of the pockets of one of the poorest populations in the United States.
At 6 percent the state was taking $150 million off the family table.
In the public's war on poverty, that's a lot of money. The state does not spend carefully enough to justify taking that much out of families' budgets.
From here on out - to 0 percent - the discussion should be framed in terms of what families can afford to part with. It's the state's turn to scrimp.