Government, Latest News, Monongalia County

Mon Commission reflects on Election Day, EMS levy, Amendment 2 defeat

MORGANTOWN — “It’s a good morning,” Monongalia County Assessor Mark Musick said Wednesday as he stood before the county commission.

Musick’s comments in reference to Tuesday’s defeat of Amendment 2 were among a number of Election Day highlights raised the morning after.

“First, thanks to our clerk, Carye Blaney, and her staff. Once again we set the bar for the state. The results were in in a little over an hour. The other counties just aren’t there yet,” Commissioner Jeff Arnett said. “It’s really an amazing process and our clerk’s office has embraced the technology and really implemented it.”

The commission also recognized Musick, whom it credited as a state leader in getting information out about Amendment 2 and its potential impact to the counties.

Passage of the constitutional amendment would have allowed the Legislature to exempt personal property taxes on people’s vehicles and also on what businesses pay on their inventory, equipment and machinery.

The issue went down 307,343 to 168,704.

“This was a true group effort when it came to compiling information and getting it out. I always thought that was our job to let our taxpayers know, to educate them, and then it was their decision,” Musick said. 

Commissioner Jeff Arnett agreed.

“It was a team effort but there was a definite leader in the information campaign for Amendment 2 and that leader was Mark Musick, there’s no question. Ask anybody and they’ll tell you the same,” Arnett said. “He really got the word out there. Between you and Baby Dog, I think that’s what got us over the finish line.”

While the immediacy of the issue is gone, the issue itself is likely not.

“I think we’ve got the legislature’s attention,” Commissioner Sean Sikora said. “I think next session we really need to start rolling up our sleeves and saying ‘OK, so if we really want to do something with property taxes and inventory tax how can we do it,’ but have us in the discussion at the front end rather than going through all this and it not working.”

The commissioners also addressed the passage of the EMS levy brought forward by Mon EMS.

The excess levy will generate just over $17.8 million over four years starting July 1, 2023.

“I would say congratulations to [Mon EMS Director Forest Weyens], but I’d really say congratulations to the citizens of Mon County. We’re the ones that are going to benefit from this levy,” Arnett said. “Hopefully this will take some of the strain off and allow you to expand services even further.”

TWEET @DominionPostWV