Blog Posts > Property Tax Amendment Could Cost Schools and Local Governments $515 Million, Take Control Away from Local Governments and Voters
June 17, 2022

Property Tax Amendment Could Cost Schools and Local Governments $515 Million, Take Control Away from Local Governments and Voters

This November, West Virginians will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that could jeopardize hundreds of millions in property tax revenue benefiting local communities. Here’s our third in a series of blog posts outlining why the amendment should be rejected.

If passed, the property tax amendment would give the state legislature the authority to exempt business machinery and equipment, business inventory, and personal vehicles from property taxation, resulting in a severe loss of revenue for counties and local governments and marking a significant shift in power away from local governments and to state government.

Testimony this week revealed that, if passed, the property tax amendment could cost West Virginia’s schools and local governments $515 million – 27 percent of total local property tax revenue in the state. Of that $515 million, approximately $340 million funds local school districts, $138 million funds county government services, $35 million funds municipal government services, and only $2 million funds state government. In addition, $205 million of the $515 million comes from excess and bond levies that were approved by voters in those counties. 

While the proposal has been framed by proponents as “relief for taxpayers from their car tax,” over 70 percent of the potential tax cuts would go to businesses. The property tax on individual vehicles accounts for less than one-third of the potential tax cuts under the property tax amendment.

Previous attempts by the state legislature to reimburse local governments for the lost revenue from similar proposals would have made West Virginia’s tax system more regressive, relying on increased sales taxes – which fall more heavily on low- and middle-income taxpayers – to pay for a tax cut that would largely benefit out-of-state consumers, corporations, and shareholders.

The personal property tax directly funds the benefits businesses and the people of West Virginia receive from local governments. Make no mistake, the property tax amendment is an attempted power grab that would weaken local governments’ ability to make the investments that promote growth, in favor of setting the stage for more dubious tax cuts.

Read Sean’s full blog post.

New Child Tax Credit Proposal Revealed, Includes Strengths and Weaknesses

Beginning in July 2021, most households with children had received monthly enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments of $250- 300 per child. However, the enhanced CTC included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was temporary and expired at the end of 2021.

The impact on children and families since the expiration of the enhanced CTC has been severe. Between Dec. 2021 and Jan. 2022, there was a staggering 41 percent increase in child poverty nationwide due to the loss of the monthly payments. And as inflation continues to exacerbate family financial hardship, the need to make a robust CTC permanent is as urgent as ever.

This week, a new proposal to expand the CTC was announced. While we are excited to see bipartisan interest in enhancing the credit and while the proposal does improve some elements of the current law, it also has serious shortcomings – primarily, it does not make the full credit available to the lowest-income families (a notable divergence from the now-expired enhanced CTC that was included in the ARPA). Further, it proposes problematic offsets that would prove detrimental to low-income families.

A detailed Twitter thread from our colleagues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides further insight. You can read it here.

Impacts of Rising Insulin Costs Survey

The costs of insulin continue to rise while income wages remain stagnant, exacerbating pressure on individuals and families to skip or ration insulin doses in order to make ends meet.

You can help us in our fight to urge Congress to take action! If you or your family is being impacted by insulin costs or rationing, please consider completing our survey and aiding us in our advocacy– we appreciate your time and insight.

Appalachian Prison Book Project 2022- 2023 Education Scholarship

Applications for Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP)‘s 2022-2023 Education Scholarship are live!

Four, $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to individuals who have been released from a West Virginia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDCR) state prison or federal prison (BOP) in West Virginia and who will be beginning or continuing their undergraduate or graduate education at a college or university in West Virginia.

This is an incredible opportunity for justice-impacted folks in the Mountain State who want to further their education. Please share with anyone you think may be interested and eligible! Application submission deadline is July 15, 2022.

You can find full details and instructions to apply here.

Share Your Medicaid Experience with Us!

The WVCBP’s Elevating the Medicaid Enrollment Experience (EMEE) Voices Project seeks to collect stories from West Virginians who have struggled to access Medicaid across the state. Being conducted in partnership with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, EMEE Voices will gather insight to inform which Medicaid barriers are most pertinent to West Virginians, specifically people of color.

Do you have a Medicaid experience to share? We’d appreciate your insight. Just fill out the contact form on this webpage and we’ll reach out to you soon. We look forward to learning from you! 

You can watch WVCBP’s health policy analyst Rhonda Rogombé and West Virginians for Affordable Health Care’s Mariah Plante further break down the project and its goals in this FB Live.

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