WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce hosted business and community leaders in a roundtable discussion on Amendment 2, to answer questions and provide more information on the Amendment itself. 

The highly discussed Amendment 2, if passed, would authorize tax exemptions for vehicles and personal property used for business.  

Gov. Jim Justice had said, “Amendment 2 came into be because the manufacturers want a tax break – a big time tax break, and they’ve got big time money.”

These manufacturers, the WVMA and the WVCC, met and believe that the passage of Amendment 2 will create a modernized tax structure that will create more jobs, attract development and cut taxes for West Virginians. 

President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association says that this amendment comes with the misconception of funding being taken away from our counties, schools, and municipalities. 

”I think there’s a lot of concern about what those taxes fund, but it’s our experience that with regard to the legislature, they’re in Charleston for 60 days a year. The rest of the year they’re at home. They utilize those services. They have to answer to their constituents for changes in those services and with the Seante plan, for instance, they are fully committed to making sure that those services remain funded and then some.”

Rebecca McPhail – President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association

West Virginia has the sixth best publicly funded pension system in the nation, but as former president and CEO of Eagle Manufacturing, Joe Eddy, says manufacturing jobs are declining from what once was around 130,000 to now 47,000. 

“I’m worried about retention, number one, because, you know, companies have an opportunity to move not very far to move their manufacturing businesses to Ohio or Pennsylvania our of Northern West Virginia, especially and not pay these regressive taxes on property, inventory, equipment,” said Eddy.

Both outlooks on the Amendment urge voters to become educated and take it to the polls on November 8.