2022 Meet the Candidates debate held at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - The 2022 Meet the Candidates panel kicked off bright and early Thursday morning. It was organized by the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce and included several names on the ballot, who are campaigning to represent all or part of Raleigh County.
A big topic of conversation Thursday was Amendment 2. This will give lawmakers control over personal property taxes. That control is currently overseen by each county.
“We are an outlier when it comes to Amendment 2 because other legislatures across the country, they are allowed to be involved in dispersing funds and dealing with taxes,” said Sen. Rollan Roberts, the incumbent Republican Senate candidate for District 9. “You’re talking about the taxation with Amendment 2.”
“It is best to leave things in the hands of local government and the people who are actually teaching our children,” countered the Libertarian candidate for the 9th Senate District, Kari Woodson. “They should have a say in what happens in their own communities...”
Another issue raised during the debate was West Virginia’s future in the workforce industry. A focus was placed on how to make the state’s infrastructure desirable to companies who could set up shop in the Mountain State.
“We need to make sure that we have ready sites available,” explained Christopher Toney, the incumbment Republican candidate for the House of Delegate’s 43rd District. “We have power, water there waiting for businesses to come in. If that means that we already have the items run for them, so when they come in we can make a better opportunity for those individuals.”
JoAnna Vance is the Democratic candidate for District 43. Unlike Toney, she says West Virginia needs to fix its current infrastructure before it expands into new tactics.
“When I think of infrastructure, I think of like what we already have and how we can make it better because if we can’t make it better, bringing in other companies and other stuff when we don’t have the infrastructure for it to function already, it’s just gonna be- it’s not gonna make it better at all.”
Other debate items included how to address the opioid epidemic and the payment responsibility of the Coal Severance Tax.
With Election Day falling on November 8, Thursday’s discussion was one of the last chances candidates will have to advocate their cases.
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