EXPLAINER: What is West Virginia’s Amendment 2?

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - What is West Virginia’s Amendment 2? Amendment 2 would allow cuts to personal property taxes on equipment used for business practices as well as the motor vehicle tax. One side says it could open the door for new businesses, another says it would take money away from counties.

“This tax has been seen as an impediment to bringing business into West Virginia. We’re an outlier in that we’re the only state in the union that has this tax in our constitution. So we would become more in line with everybody else by removing that,” said Sen. Jack Woodrum (R) Summers.

“I’m talking about police, I’m talking about libraries, I’m talking about school systems. Everything that counties fund with their budgets on a local level. Amendment two would put all of that at risk,” said Sen. Stephen Baldwin (D) Greenbrier.

Woodrum says a bill has already been drafted that would not only keep funding in the counties but also give a little more. Baldwin says he isn’t buying that plan.

“There’s no reason that we would ever do anything that would damage a county or bankrupt a county. It’s the same thing with the school system. If for some reason we did something that created a problem with a county or with a school, we’re the ones who have to come in and clean it up,” said Woodrum.

“The governor has used this analogy: if someone wants to take your wallet and says don’t worry I’m going to give it back to you and everything is going to be okay. Are you going to trust that? That’s actually not what’s happening. They’re saying give me your wallet and I’ll give it back to you with an extra 100 dollar bill in it. You know I was born at night but not last night. I don’t see that happening,” said Baldwin.

Whether you’re for or against Amendment 2, it’s better to fully understand it before casting your ballot for or against the amendment.

Governor Jim Justice has come out against amendment two. He says it would eliminate the possibility of removing the state’s personal income tax.