- 54th District
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.
While I’m always open minded to ways to improve the business climate and promote economic growth, I cannot vote to reduce revenues to our counties without a viable plan to make the counties whole. I’ve yet to hear that plan. Our counties are responsible for funding so many essential services like public schools, infrastructure projects, EMS and police services for smaller municipalities. It would be irresponsible to defund these services and have a detrimental effect on the people of this state and would have a negative effect on our economic growth.
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?
Unfortunately the biggest barrier to growth in West Virginia is our negative image outside the state. The good news is it isn’t accurate. The best thing we can do is get prospective business owners, investors, people here to see for themselves that WV is the best place to work, live and raise a family. The Legislature could assist in this by supporting “quality of life issues” like funding for our public schools, infrastructure projects, tourism investments, and expanding broadband access. The least the Legislature could do is stop running legislation that contributes to our negative image.
3) What should the State be doing to provide more support and assistance to its Capitol City Area?
If we are to increase our population and grow the state, we need to be supportive of our population centers. The State needs to be a better partner with Charleston and surrounding areas. Like the City and the County, the State has received funds through ARPA and IRA and could increase its commitment to local projects like the Capitol Sports Complex and the industrial site on the East End. At the very least the Legislature could refrain from passing preemption laws that hinder the municipal government from doing its job.