WV Center on Budget and Policy > Blog > Tax and Budget > Eliminating the Personal Property Tax: Part 3 – What’s at Stake for Municipalities

Eliminating the Personal Property Tax: Part 3 – What’s at Stake for Municipalities

(Continued from Part 2 – published 12/11/12)

In FY 2012, West Virginia’s 241 municipalities collected an estimated $30 million in personal property tax revenue. While municipal governments are less reliant on property taxes as a source of revenue than are county governments, property taxes still make up around 10 percent of municipal general revenues.

While I can’t break down the amount of revenue each individual municipality would lose from the elimination of the personal property tax with the data available from the State Tax Department, I can make an estimate for how much municipal revenue would be lost in a county. For example, as the chart below shows, municipalities in Barbour County (Belington, Junior, and Phillipi) would lose an estimated combined $140,720, or 41% of their combined property tax revenue. 

County Revenue Lost Share of Total Property Tax Revenue
Barbour $140,720 41%
Berkeley $533,893 15%
Boone $333,088 54%
Braxton $87,866 36%
Brooke $1,115,739 49%
Cabell $2,287,467 31%
Calhoun $35,756 41%
Clay $26,806 41%
Doddridge $33,957 54%
Fayette $541,471 33%
Gilmer $97,201 47%
Grant $81,048 19%
Greenbrier $412,063 21%
Hampshire $40,282 12%
Hancock $737,190 39%
Hardy $153,873 18%
Harrison $2,968,722 34%
Jackson $386,111 43%
Jefferson $288,379 13%
Kanawha $6,967,640 31%
Lewis $143,651 37%
Lincoln $45,629 41%
Logan $370,830 55%
McDowell $825,245 30%
Marion $608,556 37%
Marshall $183,305 30%
Mason $299,731 56%
Mercer $474,448 24%
Mineral $250,155 29%
Mingo $355,453 52%
Monongalia $1,450,691 27%
Monroe $21,776 21%
Morgan $18,133 9%
Nicholas $306,748 39%
Ohio $1,140,708 27%
Pendleton $19,957 17%
Pleasants $79,192 22%
Pocahontas $20,780 11%
Preston $219,713 23%
Putnam $314,665 16%
Raleigh $1,023,880 34%
Randolph $245,218 25%
Ritchie $194,268 43%
Roane $86,652 36%
Summers $54,348 12%
Taylor $116,905 24%
Tucker $66,698 23%
Tyler $133,758 44%
Upshur $323,748 42%
Wayne $442,078 39%
Webster $44,581 41%
Wetzel $284,081 36%
Wirt $17,267 28%
Wood $2,336,794 29%
Wyoming $192,663 51%
Total $29,981,577 31%

Source: WVCBP analysis of State Tax Dept Data

Approximately  $24.7 million of the $30 million in personal property tax revenue was raised through the municipal current levy rates, while $5.3 million was raised through excess levies.

As with county governments, municipalities are restrained in their ability to raise revenue, making $30 million very difficult to replace. A loss of revenue of that magnitude would severely hamper West Virginia’s municipal governments’ ability to continue to provide services like libraries, police and fire protection, hospital care, road repair and maintenance, housing and community development, and recreation.

 

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