22 February 2010

Legislature 2010: Property Taxes

Gov. Joe Manchin's attempt to exempt some business property from taxes may soon clear the Legislature, but would then face a major hurdle on the November ballot, The Associated Press observes.

Voters would have to agree to amend the state constitution to allow counties to keep categories of commercial inventory and equipment off their tax rolls. "Voters don't readily tinker with their constitution," the article said, and support for the measure "may be eroding."

"Some county officials question assurances that lawmakers will help replace the lost revenue that would result from the measure," the article said. "Provisions added to win them over have instead added to the worries of some."

AP also measures the revenues reaped by counties and schools from such property, and compares how West Virginia stacks up against other states regarding such taxes. It also hears from differing economic think tanks on the proposal.

The Register-Herald of Beckley talks to Manchin about his legislation, and reports separately on reactions from county officials.

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