CHARLESTON, WV (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 to act on two key issues.
Lawmakers could decide if a tax on business inventory and machinery stays on the books or if it gets repealed. Amendment 2 could also lead to the House and Senate removing the property tax on personal vehicles in the Mountain State.
The governor says the car tax repeal amounts to “vote buying” but State Senate President Craig Blair (R-Berkeley) says 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,” said Blair. “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 says it will take key revenue away from counties, but the senate president again says 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,” said Justice.
“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.