Mountain State Spotlight, Beckley Register-Herald – Two bills to change how West Virginia’s natural resources are valued for property tax purposes are moving through the Legislature. Proponents say the measures — which would probably lower the taxes companies pay — are necessary to address statutory and constitutional requirements. But it could also reduce the tax money that goes to counties, and many local officials are balking at the price tag. Read the full article.
“There’s a lot of legislation this session that would impact counties financially, and it seems like it’s all coming at once,” said Jennifer Piercy, executive director of the County Commissioners’ Association of West Virginia. “Counties want to be involved in these conversations, because we’re directly affected.”
Piercy said many counties are already struggling financially. Most have seen declining populations that lead to less property tax revenue, on top of high jail costs and losses driven by the pandemic, such as by dips in hotel-motel tax revenue, she said.
“I think that the fundamental question here people have to ask [is], ‘Are the large companies going to pay these taxes?’” said Delegate David Pethtel, D-Wetzel. “Or is the county commission and school board? Do they have to raise the levy rate and put this back on individual property homeowners?”
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