The Dominion Post, Yahoo News – The Senate Judiciary gave its approval Thursday to a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the Legislature the power to control personal property tax rates. Opponents worry such a move could blow holes in county budgets and force the counties to raise property tax rates. Read the full article.
SJR 7 would go before the voters in November 2024 if approved by both houses of the Legislature. It proposes to allow the Legislature to set the rates for personal property taxes on vehicles and business inventory, equipment and machinery.
Speakers who addressed the committee uniformly opposed the resolution. Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said only a minute portion of property taxes go to the state: about $8 million. The rest, about $1.9 billion goes to counties, municipalities and school boards.
Given that it’s been a longstanding goal of many legislators to eliminate the business personal property taxes, she said, SJR 7 would effectively take taxation authority away from local officials and pose a potential $500 million loss, chiefly to the schools.