Would lower taxes fix WV?

On the ballot this fall is a measure to allow the state legislature to reduce or eliminate business equipment and inventory taxes and the property tax on vehicles. Senate President Craig Blair is in favor of this proposed measure, while Cabell County Commission president Jim Morgan is opposed.

As I drive county roads that have more patches than original pavement, and lament the consolidation of our public schools because we don’t have enough students to justify repairing (or rebuilding) the schools at the current locations, I can’t help but think less money going to county commissions isn’t going to help.

Indeed, counties can set the property taxes to whatever they’d like (though there is a state imposed cap), and if lower taxes would improve counties, wouldn’t counties race to have the lowest taxes? On average, WV has some of the lowest taxes in the nation, and yet it continues to hemorrhage residents. Somehow, lowering taxes further (and in favor of big businesses) doesn’t seem like it would change much.

For all Craig Blair’s belief that businesses bring young residents, and young residents make babies (his words!), parents, or parents-to-be do consider the quality of education when they’re looking for a place to live. Read (or listen to) the arguments made by Blair and Morgan on the WV Public Radio Interview here.

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