• 57th District
  • Non-Incumbent
  • ernest@electblevins.com
  • 304-964-1069

1) If Amendment 2, “Property Tax Modernization Amendment”, on the General Election ballot passes in November, would you support eliminating the inventory tax and exempting tangible machinery and equipment directly used in business activity from personal property taxes? If so, how should the State assist counties and municipalities with the lost revenue that would come from the Legislature changing the tax code? If you do not support amending these taxes, please explain why.

The state can make up the taxes lost by removing the inventory and equipment taxes with a sales tax. This eliminates the burden of paperwork on individuals and businesses, removes the chance of identity theft via tax documents, and taps into tourism dollars and income from the non-reported cash economy. The expanded tax base is safer, easier, and with more people paying a sales tax less will be needed from each individual.

2) What do you believe are the biggest issues hindering business and population growth in West Virginia, and what could the Legislature do to address these challenges?

I moved here for a state job, later determining many were underpaid compared to peers nationwide. Several employees left the office during my term for better-paying jobs. The legislature can improve state pay more equitable to attract instate and out-of-state workers to come and to stay. Increasing the state pay will help retain state employees. Removing the income tax will draw people as it does in Tennessee, Florida, and Texas. Improving road maintenance and other infrastructure to support new businesses.

3) What should the State be doing to provide more support and assistance to its Capitol City Area?

The legislature is to represent all citizens of the state. Issues important to the Chamber will “raise the ships” across the state. As previously mentioned, improving the tax system and raising state pay will promote economic growth, job creation, and streamlining of government. This provides a welcoming environment through recreation, entertainment, historic preservation, and road maintenance supports an attractive environment for the area.