This is an opinion and only the opinion of someone who has had a small business since 1996 — for 26 years.
As a small business that is registered with the Assessor’s Office as two-thirds business, my real estate taxes — that two-thirds — are assessed at the highest rate possible. I also pay, not only the vehicle tax that everyone with a vehicle pays, but I also pay personal property on everything I purchase for my business and that is in my business (depreciated 10% each year), including the food I purchase to serve to my guests at my bed & breakfast. Do I like paying these taxes? No, but I will.
I am writing, as a small business owner, to urge all voters to vote no on Amendment 2. I do not want to give the state that much control over my taxes. I want control to remain in the county.
Why? Because I have control over county commissioners – by voting them in or out of office. My vote will have very little control in the Legislature. My delegate and senator are just one vote in each chamber of the Legislature – easily outvoted.
Compare it to the United States Senate – one vote makes the difference but that means 49 votes in essence mean nothing because they cannot make something pass or fail.
It is all about one word – control.
I do not want to see control – especially financial and taxation control – leave the local level. The Legislature wants all four amendments passed. Therefore, I am a “no” vote on all four. No, you have enough control now, I do not want to give the Legislature any more control!
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast
35 Walnut Street
Shinnston, West Virginia
Editor’s Note: Amendment 2, which is on the ballot Nov. 8 and would be added to the West Virginia Constitution, would authorize the Legislature to exempt business machinery, equipment and inventory, as well as vehicles, from property taxes. It would give the Legislature control over 27 percent of total property tax revenue – an estimated $515 million. The vast majority goes to county governments, municipal governments and school districts. It’s one of four amendments to be considered, which are covered more in-depth in the print edition.
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