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Legal Mechanics of TPP Tax Reform: Procedures for Amending the West Virginia Constitution

8. Legal Mechanics of TPP Tax Reform: Procedures for Amending the West Virginia Constitution

Personal property taxes were established by Article X 22 of the West Virginia Constitution in 1863. Since then, many amendments that relate to the taxation of personal property have been proposed and adopted (West Virginia Constitution (a)). Since the taxation of TPP was established by the Constitution, changes to such taxes can only be made through a constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendments are proposed through joint resolutions, which may be introduced in either house of the Legislature (West Virginia Constitution (b)).

Such resolutions must be adopted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house. Upon adoption of the joint resolution, the Legislature must pass a law providing for the submission of the proposed amendment to West Virginia voters for approval or rejection at a special election or at the next general election (West Virginia Constitution (b)). The Legislature must also publish the proposed amendment in newspapers in every county at least three months prior to the election (West Virginia Constitution (b)). A simple majority (50 percent plus one) of the qualified voters is sufficient for the ratification of a proposed constitutional amendment. In essence, in order for changes to TPP taxes to take effect, they must be approved by a simple majority of West Virginia voters through a ballot measure. The decision to modify the state’s tax structure as it relates to TPP taxation ultimately rests on the hands of both West  Virginia legislators and voters.

9. Discussion and Conclusion →

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