House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, still has the symbolic can of beans with a penny on top - a gift from the late Dick Henderson, who served in the House of Delegates until his death.
In the 1990s, Henderson and other Republicans fought to reduce taxes on the poor. West Virginia's 6 percent tax on food was at the top on the list.
But Democratic leaders refused to let go of a tax they imposed in 1988 as a "temporary" measure.
Public officials always have an excuse to spend the public's money. By expanding programs, Democrats expanded the state's reliance on the food tax, even as revenues from other sources rose.
Eventually, however, the food tax became an embarrassment.
When Gov. Joe Manchin took office in 2005, he and then-Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin initiated a phaseout of the tax.
State officials have since slowly lowered the tax over time. Eight years later, on Monday, the state eliminated it - 25 years after the Legislature approved it as a stopgap measure.
People will continue to pay the 6 percent tax on prepared food, vending machine food and soft drinks.