Amelia Knisely Published

Justice: Amendment 2 Vote Most Important Issue Of My Governorship

Governor Jim Justice speaks at his virtual press briefing, June 26, 2020

The outcome of the Amendment 2 vote is the most important issue of Gov. Jim Justice’s tenure, according to the governor himself.

“I’m telling you, there is nothing more in my governorship that is as important as this. Please vote no on Amendment 2. It’s got to fail,” Justice said Monday during his COVID-19 briefing, which was largely used by the governor to urge voters to reject the amendment.

“It’s about a gigantic power grab and moving everything to Charleston … Local control is always the best,” Justice said, adding that he believes the amendment will fail to pass Nov. 8.

The governor has spent the last six weeks traveling around the state urging voters to reject the amendment, which would give the legislature authority to reform property taxes.

The amendment is backed by top Republican lawmakers, and they’ve publicly sparred with Justice ahead of Election Day.

Justice argued that the plan would take necessary dollars away from local governments for critical services. Lawmakers in favor of Amendment 2 said it would allow the Legislature to begin a comprehensive tax reform, and they’ll have the authority to eliminate business equipment and inventory taxes and the property tax on vehicles.

Justice rolled out his own plan last month to eliminate personal property tax on vehicles through a rebate program in hopes of swaying voters against Amendment 2.

Follow our West Virginia Public Broadcasting election blog Nov. 8 for continuous updates.