MAP leads community forums on Amendment 2 in Monongalia County

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Morgantown Area Partnership (MAP) President and CEO Russ Rogerson traveled to the community to conduct education sessions regarding Amendment 2, the Property Tax Modernization Amendment in view of a statewide vote in the November 8 general election.

Rogerson said if approved by voters, the measure transfers property taxing authority for personal property (vehicles), business inventory, equipment and machinery from counties to the state legislature.

Russ Rogerson

“There aren’t any other plans or anything that have come forward,” Rogerson said on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town.” “So what the partnership has done is educate our members on the issue, both for and against, to ensure that they are the best educated and informed voters.”

Rogerson said each state’s tax structure is reviewed and then ranked by economists, business experts, even other states, and those results flow freely. Any changes to the tax structure will have an effect on how prospective companies view West Virginia as a place to do business.

“Where we rank nationally or with our neighbors when a business knows it needs to be in that geographic area of ​​the country is considered before the phone even rings,” Rogerson said.

Rogerson said MAP serves 530 members, a broad cross section of the local economy. Due to the diversity of membership, Rogerson said the educational approach allows him to learn more about the survival and prosperity of businesses in Monongalia County.

“Every company has different push points that are very important to them, whether it’s a close customer, but where costs affect them structurally is what you need to understand as a recruiter. ‘company,” Rogerson said.

The education campaign used social media, email blasts and public forums. But having the opportunity to present candidates to MPs allows them to understand how they would legislate if the amendment were approved.

“We invited all the candidates in the elections, from federal to local, and amendment two was part of the questions that we presented to the candidates so that we understood what their position was on these important questions,” Rogerson said.

Rogerson said the amendment itself isn’t hard to understand once it’s explained, but the future passage would bring was the issue most often raised. Most continue to question the ability of state lawmakers to fill an estimated $550 million a year budget hole for counties.

“The discussion about this has been based on passing this amendment, what happens, that’s where most of the opinions come in,” Rogerson said. “Obviously, she’s an unknown.”

Early voting for the election begins this Wednesday.