By Jonathan Adler
West Virginia Association of Counties
Voters need to understand what is at stake when they vote on Amendment 2, the “Property Tax Modernization Amendment.” And you don’t need to read any further once you read these next three sentences:
1. 99.5% of the revenue being considered under Amendment 2 stays in your county, there to provide local services like fire, emergency, senior services, 4-H, Little Leagues, libraries and like programs that make your home communities the special places they are.
2. By voting for and passing Amendment 2, all that money – millions – will go to Charleston and the Capitol, to be spent any way they want.
3. One thing is for sure: that money is no longer there in your county, serving you and your home directly.
Many people mistakenly believe that passing Amendment 2 automatically cuts your car tax. It doesn’t. It gives the legislature the authority to do so…and requires them to still pass a bill. So, you are not voting for a tax cut: they will still decide for you.
We’re talking about a $600 million hole for local, county government and our schools. And it may be much more than that as utilities aren’t covered under this amendment. They will demand they receive equal treatment by the legislature and when approved it may bring another $150-$200 million more in the hole. With all the other things the state government needs to fund, why would they want another $750 million they need to find every year?
The timing for Amendment 2 is all wrong.
America and the world are suffering under record inflation, and a car tax cut won’t help much. It certainly won’t help if they pass a consumption tax for food and gas that will only add to inflation. That is one idea floated by the business community at their annual “Summit” in September: you’ll be asked to pay more on top of inflation! And it’s now been estimated that Americans are now spending over $400 more a month than they were a year ago. That swallows a welcome tax cut for you within a single month, maybe two at best.
We need our local services’ funding to be certain at this time. We need to know that wanted programs don’t face cuts if not an outright ending. Protect our constitution. Protect our communities.
Vote No on Amendment 2.