CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s Amendment 2 is best known for the possibility it could lead to a repeal of the personal property tax on vehicles in the Mountain State. People refer to it as the “dreaded car tax” and everyone WOWK 13 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis spoke with wants it gone.
“I definitely think they should get rid of that. I mean am transferring here from Ohio and we didn’t have that in Ohio and I could use that extra money for groceries, bills, anything,” said Hannah Birckhead, a West Virginia car owner.
Not only is Birckhead a car owner, she is a school teacher who says the extra money that goes toward her car tax could help out in her classroom.
“And I would totally use it for my classroom and my students. You know, that’s $300 dollars that could be used toward snacks for them and games, and stuff like that. So, I would love to use it there,” Birckhead said.
But critics of Amendment 2, such as West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, say if the car tax and the business and inventory taxes go away, there will be cuts to funding for many items, including education, if the state economy has a downturn.
“You’ve already seen proposals to cut your funding completely out. I mean you’ve already seen it,” said Justice.
If true, people WOWK spoke with don’t want education cuts.
“I still think they need to be funded. With the schools, and like that, they should get what they need,” said John Roe, a Charleston resident.
But Amendment 2’s biggest backer is Republican State Senate President Craig Blair (R-Berkeley), who promises state school funding won’t be cut.
“It’s false. We’re going to have the resources to be able to put right back into the schools. And you’re not going to have to bow down to the counties,” said Blair.
While the funding debate plays out, the one thing driving the Amendment 2 debate is still getting rid of the car tax.
“I think it would save everybody money. You know, if it’s your car, why tax it over and over,” said Michael Miller, a West Virginia car owner.
And how much would it save? According to the state chamber of commerce, the average vehicle tax in West Virginia is about $220 dollars each year.
Now, there is a second option here. As we reported Tuesday, Governor Jim Justice has proposed a rebate for everyone’s motor vehicle property tax in West Virginia, instead of settling this with Amendment 2. So, watch for the possibility of a special session of the legislature, after Election Day.