Lewis County Commission unanimously opposes HJR3

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:19 PM EST
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WESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - A proposed state constitutional amendment could cut Lewis County’s operating budget by 30% if passed.

Several commissions are protesting against it.

It’s called the property tax modernization constitutional amendment, And counties across the state are voicing their opposition to it.

Most of the money from personal property tax from things like cars and equipment goes to county school boards, county commissions and municipalities.

The Lewis County Commission met Monday morning and made the unanimous decision to oppose the amendment.

“Commissioners throughout the state are very concerned about the potential of losing the inventory tax and other taxes that they’re proposing in the new HJR3 I believe is the bill that’s going to be up for election,” said Queen.

The Lewis County commission voiced concern to the legislature before.

“And we as commissioners have voiced our concerns to not only our local individuals but our representatives higher up in the governor’s office in the state of West Virginia,” said Queen.

Lewis County President Commissioner Agnes Queen’s biggest concern is that the amendment will be a huge cut, to the tune of about 30% of the county’s budget.

On top of that, queen says the commission was recently informed of an increase in the regional jail bill that will cost the county about $100,000 a month.

“It would be devastating to the communities not only is it 30% to the Lewis County commission but to the board of education and both municipalities so it’s across the board so services will come in to play when our budgets are already dwindling as it is,” said Queen.

Queen also believes this amendment will open a can of worms.

“And once you open up the constitution of West Virginia which will happen that is what this amendment will do will give them the ability to open up the constitution in that particular area of taxation and it is very concerns because once you open it up...Many things could happen there,” said Queen.

As of now, the amendment will be on the November 2022 general election ballot.

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