CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — With just over four weeks until Election Day, the battle over Amendment 2 is really heating up in West Virginia. If approved by voters, it would give the Legislature authority over some of the revenue raised by the tangible personal property tax.
The legislature has said that with that power, it would cut taxes on business inventory and machinery. Some are hoping it could also lead to the House and Senate removing the property tax on personal vehicles in the Mountain State.
The governor said the car tax repeal would amount to “vote buying” but State Senate President Craig Blair (R-Berkeley) said that isn’t the case.
“The car tax is a vehicle or mechanism to be able to get your vote, to able to get what they really want. And what they really want, is they want rid of the machinery and inventory tax,” said Justice.
“This misinformation that’s out there is not doing the voters any service,” Blair said. “What I can guarantee them is, is that if they vote yes on Amendment 2, we’re going to make it so the vehicle personal property tax is going to go away.”
The governor said it will take key revenue away from counties, a sentiment that several local county officials have echoed, but the senate president again said that’s not true.
“You do have control right now of your destiny. If you give it up in your vote, literally at the end of the day, then Charleston has control of your destiny,” Justice said.
“That’s sort of insane to be able to say things like that,” Blair said. “You know, we are trying to keep the counties whole. They are not going to have to come down and bow down to Charleston, to be able to get their resources. it’s going to be in statute.”
Critics of Amendment 2 say it will reduce the amount of money available for county school systems and emergency response crews. Backers of Amendment 2 say they have plans to replenish that money if there are cuts.