CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) and West Virginia Chamber of Commerce (WVCC) hosted a regional roundtable discussion on Amendment 2 at Stockmeier Urethanes USA on Thursday. The group discussed reasons why they think West Virginians should vote in favor of the controversial amendment.

Business and community leaders gathered to discuss an important Election Day decision. Leaders took turns talking about why they feel amendment two should be passed. This also gave anyone in attendance the opportunity to ask questions and provide information if needed or wanted.

Passage of Amendment 2 would give the state legislature the authority to address tangible personal property tax, giving them control of 27% of revenue.

Rebecca McPhail, President of WVMA said that right now, many new businesses that are coming to West Virginia receive a “pilot agreement,” or other incentives to work around the payment of this tax. Passage of Amendment two is a path to level the playing field for all manufacturers and small businesses in West Virginia.

McPhail said that Amendment 2 “will not change the tax structure, so there will be no deficit in tax funding to the county schools and municipalities. Any changes in this structure would require additional legislative action.” She believes that the legislature is very interested in working together with stakeholders, county schools, and municipalities to make sure that nobody is harmed in future legislative action.

WVMA was surprised when Governor Jim Justice revealed that he was not for the passing of Amendment 2 due to his support in 2018 and 2020 for the repeal of inventory, machinery, and equipment.

Several groups have spoken out against Amendment 2, including the Marion County Commission, the Harrison County Mayor’s Association, the West Virginia Center for Budget & Policy, and several officials from Lewis County.

Despite many having concerns, McPhail said at the end of the day, everyone aligns with wanting to make West Virginia better, and that she hopes that Amendment 2 passes, the constitutional barrier is removed, and all of the parties can come back to the table to have discussions on solutions to save taxpayers money in West Virginia while also bringing more businesses and jobs to the state.

McPhail listed reasons why she thinks people should vote for Amendment 2:

  • It is a path to provide broad tax relief to the people of West Virginia who pay personal property taxes.
  • It levels the playing field for business development.
  • It will help them retain the manufacturing jobs already in West Virginia.
  • It will help small businesses grow.
  • It will remove an impediment for attracting new business growth to the state.

McPhail also said that funding for education in West Virginia remains constitutionally protected, regardless of whether Amendment 2’s passes. However, the West Virginia Association of School Administrators came out against Amendment 2, expressing concerns that there is no exact plan for what the legislature would do with the 27% in revenue that they would automatically control.

McPhail did say that if Amendment 2 passed, it would require additional legislation and policy discussion within the state legislature.

West Virginians will be able to vote for or against the amendment on Election Day or with early voting.