Bridgeport City Council hosts public forum about Amendment 2

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Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 11:05 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - The City of Bridgeport invited Kelly Allen from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy to talk about Amendment 2 and how it would affect the city if it passed.

The amendment would authorize the state legislature to exempt certain taxes. Allen explained what these taxes were and how they would change the budget.

“It would carve out 27% or $515 million a year. That’s the business machinery and equipment tax, the business inventory tax, and the personal vehicle tax,” Allen told the council.

She added one concern that she had with the amendment was the change in taxation could take away from schools, counties, and municipalities.

When asked what would happen if this were to pass and later wanted to return to the old system currently in place. Allen told the crowd she didn’t think they could go back.

“I don’t think we are getting those taxes back. I think we’re going to see cuts to services and increases in other categories that fall more heavily on residents,” she said.

Residents were able to ask questions and share input after the presentation.

During the meeting, District 48 Delegate Ben Queen spoke during the comment period. He said he disagreed with parts of Allen’s presentation on the outlook of Amendment 2.

He told the council he felt this amendment would be good for his constituents and everyone across the state.

“Not only give back to everyone in the room, who has a form of car tax, but it does have an opportunity to attract more business, more opportunities, more jobs for businesses to come,” Queen explained.

He added the ability for legislators to cut these taxes would make room for economic growth.

“Fully fund the counties and have an opportunity for that $28 million to go back into the pockets of people from Harrison County, who pay that tax,” Queen said.

After Allen’s presentation and hearing, Queen’s thoughts council voted unanimously voted to table the item regarding Amendment 2. They didn’t want to decide until an official resolution was crafted.