This is a developing story and will be updated.
Story updated on Oct 11 at 2:30 p.m.
In a virtual-only announcement Tuesday morning, Gov. Jim Justice said he had a bill ready to present to the West Virginia Legislature: the “Car and All-Vehicle Tax Elimination and Protection of Local Government Act.” The bill will, in essence, do away with the state vehicle tax without amending the constitution.
“Each year, all West Virginians and all West Virginia’s companies, businesses and all West Virginians who own a vehicle would receive a full dollar for dollar refund for personal property taxes paid to the county sheriff’s in 2022,” Justice said.
Justice said getting rid of the state car tax takes away the “bait” of voters passing Amendment 2 on Nov. 8. The amendment would give the legislature the authority to consider reforming property taxes, including the vehicle tax and the business, machinery and inventory tax.
Republican leaders in the West Virginia Senate are campaigning to pass the amendment, urging voters to consider the plan to remove the two property taxes and use surplus revenues to keep county schools and services funded.
Justice has been traveling the state, campaigning against Amendment 2, saying the Senate plan will doom West Virginia counties to financial ruin.
Justice said this act will return approximately $145 million to taxpayers and it applies to this year’s tax.
The bill authorizes a tax credit against the personal income tax, or the corporation net income tax, as applicable, in the amount of ad valorem property tax timely paid during the income tax taxable year on specified motor vehicles. The credit is retroactive to taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2022.
A Statement from Senate and House Democratic Leaders Regarding Governor’s Tax Relief Proposal reads; Inflation is real. People are hurting now. We fully support eliminating the car tax to help our people. Democrats proposed this idea back in March of 2021. We are glad Governor Justice is with us in eliminating the car tax. Why wait any longer? Let’s do it now. We call on the WVGOP to join us in providing immediate tax relief for the people in a special session.