WESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy held a meeting Tuesday to discuss Amendment 2 in Lewis County.

The meeting took place at the Lewis County Judicial Annex where taxpayers were able to discuss with officials the proposed impacts Amendment two could have on the county if passed. Amendment 2 proposes taking 27% of personal property taxes and giving the state legislature control over those funds. This amendment would give the state legislature the power to provide personal property exemptions for equipment and inventory directly used for business.

“We had Delegate Burkhammer come to our September council meeting to discuss the ramifications of Amendment two. And we wanted to make sure that he understood that the city’s revenue would be cut by somewhere between $76,000 and $98,000 a year,” said Kim Harrison-Edwards, mayor of the City of Weston. “That is a severe cut to our budget, and we would be hard pressed to find ways to continue the same level of services and make those cuts.”

If passed, the mayor expressed that the city would have to look at increasing revenues from other sources falling on the shoulders of the residents to carry the burden.

An official from the WV Center on Budget and Policy stated that state and local taxes play only a small part in the overall cost of doing business and that property tax revenues provide things that businesses need, such as fire services and an education system.

“If it is passed and the legislature does what they have said they are going to do. Which is eliminate half a billion dollars in property tax revenue. Lewis County can expect to see an overall loss right around $2 Million about evenly distributed between the county and school system,” said Seth Distefano, policy outreach director for WV Center on Budget and Policy.

The West Virginia Manufacturers Association and West Virginia Chamber of Commerce will host regional roundtable discussions on Amendment 2 at Stockmeier Urethanes USA, Oct. 6 from 10:30 am until noon in Clarksburg. Stockmeier Urethanes is located at 20 Columbia Blvd. Clarksburg, W.Va.

A tweet from Governor Jim Justice on Amendment 2.

When asked what it would take to make up the deficit, Distefano said, “you’re either looking at, you know, help from the legislature, we feel that the legislature in this regard has been pretty vague about their plans to quote end quote make counties whole or just outright cuts, cuts to services, cuts to public education.”

The 2022 General Election will be held on Nov. 8.