Amendment 2 On the WV November 8th Election Ballot
With the November 8th Election fast approaching, a lot of Pocahontas County voters are confused about Amendment 2 on the ballot. If it passes, the it would remove the WV Constitutional restriction that prohibits the legislature from eliminating the business equipment, business inventory and personal vehicle tax. It would not actually eliminate those personal property taxes, but would enable the State Legislature to do so next session if it chooses to do that.
Currently, most of the revenues from those taxes go to local governments and Boards of Education, and support a large part of those local budgets.
Governor Justice has been appearing at public meetings across the state, including one recently held in Marlinton, urging citizens to vote against Amendment 2 on the ballot. Justice said state Senate leaders behind the constitutional amendment are “using the car tax as bait. Don’t take it. They’re trying to pull off a fast one on you.” Justice says he has found a constitutional way to eliminate just the tax on personal vehicles while not eliminating the taxes on businesses. He said he will get legislation passed in January which will reimburse citizens for any personal vehicle tax they pay starting in 2022, while leaving local tax revenues untouched.
At it’s last meeting, the Pocahontas County Board of Education members unanimously signed a resolution opposing Amendment 2, since eliminating the taxes would cost the board $600,000 or more a year, and the plan that state legislators have proposed to make up that lost revenue is very uncertain and likely would only last one year if it is enacted at all.
The Pocahontas County Commissioners also oppose Amendment 2 because it would cost the commission around $500,000 in lost revenue annually. Listen as Commissioner John Rebinski explains his opposition.
“I feel the people of Pocahontas County should vote against this Amendment 2,” said Rebinski. “It may sound like a good thing because you may feel like you are saving money on taxes, and paying less taxes, but the final result of it is the County Commission side of it is looking to lose upwards of $500,000 -half a million- and the school board side is looking to lose $600,000 or more. And that money has to come from somewhere. If you take it out of our current budget, well, we have mandatory things in the in the County Commission that we have to provide services for. To meet those expenditures, we are going to have to take money from other projects and programs that the county residents greatly enjoy. While you might feel your saving a little money in your pocket, you’re going to feel the pain when some of these programs may not be as available as they currently are. I suggest – and I an not telling anybody how to vote, you are all free to vote anyway you want to, don’t get me wrong on that part, that’s why we have voting – but my recommendation is that you do not support Amendment 2 for those reasons.”
So, just like Commissioner Rebinski said, this is totally your decision, Unlike Rebinski, Allegheny Mountain Radio makes no recommendations either way, just presents information to help you make your own informed decisions.