CHARLESTON — Will the third time be the charm for eliminating the personal property tax for businesses?

“The third time is the charm, hopefully,” said Delegate Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform. The committee met Monday, Oct. 5, to continue its work begun in April.

But the challenges are many, he and others admitted. Among them, replacing the money, since most of it goes to schools, and then getting the Legislature and the voters to sign on, in the form of a constitutional amendment.

Jared Walczak, policy analyst for the Tax Foundation, told committee members, “Personal property taxes are one of those taxes that most states, on a bipartisan basis … they say they don’t want to have them. This is not the tax structure they would have created if they were starting from scratch today. But they’re there and it’s very difficult to know what to do with them.”

Walczak offered some possible solutions, acknowledging the problems with each:

Shift the burden from personal property to real property.

Exempt inventory.

Exempt only new personal property so the existing base isn’t lost and the tax fades gradually.

Adopt a “de minimus” exclusion, meaning exempt personal property up to a certain level — $50,000, $100,000, or some other figure.

Enact a local option for counties to exclude personal property if they choose.