WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
House Joint Resolution 3
By DELEGATES MALLOW, FORSHT, WAMSLEY, CLARK, BARNHART, KIMES, HORST, HOLSTEIN AND REED
[Introduced February 11, 2021; referred
to the Committee on Finance then Judiciary]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia amending section one,
article X thereof, relating to authorizing the Legislature to exempt tangible machinery and equipment personal property directly used in business activity and tangible inventory personal property directly used in business activity from ad valorem property taxation by general law; providing that the question of ratification or rejection of the amendment be submitted to the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in the year 2022; numbering and designating such proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such proposed amendment.
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment to the Constitution of the
State of West Virginia be submitted to the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in 2022, which proposed amendment is that article X thereof be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section one-d, to read as follows:
§1. Taxation and finance.
Subject to the exceptions in this section contained, taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the state, and all property, both real and personal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value to be ascertained as directed by law. No one species of property from which a tax may be collected shall be taxed higher than any other species of property of equal value; except that the aggregate of taxes assessed in any one year upon personal property employed exclusively in agriculture, including horticulture and grazing, products of agriculture as above defined, including livestock, while owned by the producer, and money, notes, bonds, bills and accounts receivable, stocks and other similar intangible personal property shall not exceed fifty cents on each one hundred dollars of value thereon and upon all property owned, used and occupied by the owner thereof exclusively for residential purposes and upon farms occupied and cultivated by their
owners or bona fide tenants, one dollar; and upon all other property situated outside of municipalities, one dollar and fifty cents; and upon all other property situated within municipalities, two dollars; and the Legislature shall further provide by general law for increasing the maximum rates, authorized to be fixed, by the different levying bodies upon all classes of property, by submitting the question to the voters of the taxing units affected, but no increase shall be effective unless at least sixty percent of the qualified voters shall favor such increase, and such increase shall not continue for a longer period than three years at any one time, and shall never exceed by more than fifty percent the maximum rate herein provided and prescribed by law; and the revenue derived from this source shall be apportioned by the Legislature among the levying units of the state in proportion to the levy laid in said units upon real and other personal property; but property used for educational, literary, scientific, religious or charitable purposes, all cemeteries, public property, tangible machinery and equipment personal property directly used in business activity, tangible inventory personal property directly used in business activity, the personal property, including livestock, employed exclusively in agriculture as above defined and the products of agriculture as so defined while owned by the producers may by law be exempted from taxation; household goods to the value of two hundred dollars shall be exempted from taxation. The Legislature shall have authority to tax privileges, franchises, and incomes of persons and corporations and to classify and graduate the tax on all incomes according to the amount thereof and to exempt from taxation incomes below a minimum to be fixed from time to time, and such revenues as may be derived from such tax may be appropriated as the Legislature may provide. After the year nineteen hundred thirty-three, the rate of the state tax upon property shall not exceed one cent upon the hundred dollars valuation, except to pay the principal and interest of bonded indebtedness of the state now existing.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of article eleven, chapter three of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, such amendment is hereby numbered “Amendment No. 1” and designated as the “Property Tax Modernization Amendment” and the
purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: “To amend the State Constitution by providing the Legislature with authority to exempt tangible machinery and equipment personal property directly used in business activity and tangible inventory personal property directly used in business activity from ad valorem property taxation by general law.”
NOTE: The purpose of this resolution is to provide the Legislature with authority to establish the valuation, assessment value and classification of property in this state for purposes of ad valorem taxation, to fix maximum rates for the taxation thereof by the levying bodies, and to provide for the exemption thereof from taxation, fully or in part, all to be determined as provided by general law, and to preserve all existing exemptions from taxation where provided by constitution.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.