Date Requested:January 30, 2012
Time Requested:02:44 PM
Agency: State Tax Department
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2012R1672 Introduced SB452
CBD Subject: TAX PAYERS BILL OF RIGHTS
FUND(S)
All Expenditure Funds and All Tax Deposit Funds
Sources of Revenue
General Fund,Other Fund see above
Legislation creates:
Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The stated purpose of this bill is to create the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Act. The bill provides a preferred interpretation of the act. The bill requires voter approval to increase governmental spending or debt. The bill requires elections and sets forth election provisions. The bill requires summaries of ballot issues be mailed to voters. The bill provides exceptions. The bill provides for emergency reserves and emergency taxes. The bill provides spending and revenue limits. The bill defines terms. The bill also provides for civil suits and judicial review.
    
    As written, this bill would require the State and its subdivisions to have voter approval, effective November 4, 2014, for any new tax, tax rate increase, mill levy above that for the prior year, valuation for assessment ratio increase for a property class, extension of an expiring tax, a tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain to the State or its subdivisions, adding new employees to existing pension plans, creation of any multiple-fiscal year direct or indirect debt or other financial obligation without adequate present cash reserves pledged irrevocably and held for payments in all future fiscal years. The proposal would require the State and its subdivisions to reserve a percentage of its fiscal year spending to use for declared emergencies. Also, the proposal includes government spending limits and requires that revenue from sources not excluded from fiscal year spending in excess of the spending limits be refunded. While this proposal would place limits on growth of existing revenue sources, the proposal does not directly increase or decrease State or local government revenue.
    
    Additional administrative costs to the State Tax Department, other State agencies, and local governments resulting from adoption of the proposed Constitutional Amendment could be significant.
    

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2012
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2013
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    Passage of this bill would require the State and its subdivisions to have voter approval, effective November 4, 2014, for any new tax, tax rate increase, mill levy above that for the prior year, valuation for assessment ratio increase for a property class, extension of an expiring tax, a tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain to the State or its subdivisions, adding new employees to existing pension plans, creation of any multiple-fiscal year direct or indirect debt or other financial obligation without adequate present cash reserves pledged irrevocably and held for payments in all future fiscal years. The proposal would require the State and its subdivisions to reserve a percentage of its fiscal year spending to use for declared emergencies. Also, the proposal includes government spending limits and requires that revenue from sources not excluded from fiscal year spending in excess of the spending limits be refunded. While this proposal would place limits on growth of existing revenue sources, the proposal does not directly increase or decrease State or local government revenue.
    
    Additional administrative costs to the State Tax Department, other State agencies, and local governments resulting from adoption of the proposed Constitutional Amendment could be significant.
    


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Mark Muchow
Email Address:
kerri.r.petry@wv.gov
    The stated purpose of this bill is to create the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Act. The bill provides a preferred interpretation of the act. The bill requires voter approval to increase governmental spending or debt. The bill requires elections and sets forth election provisions. The bill requires summaries of ballot issues be mailed to voters. The bill provides exceptions. The bill provides for emergency reserves and emergency taxes. The bill provides spending and revenue limits. The bill defines terms. The bill also provides for civil suits and judicial review.
    
    The bill, as written, contains the statement “All provisions are self-executing and severable and supersede conflicting state constitutional, state statutory, charter, or other state or local provisions.” Passage of the bill would, in effect, amend the State Constitution through legislation rather than the process set forth in Article XIV of the Constitution.
    
    The bill, as written, makes a reference to a “general assembly” rather than a Legislature, as in practice in the State. Additionally, the bill provides for citizen suits against the State, which appears to be in conflict with Article VI, §35 of the West Virginia Constitution prohibiting the State from being a defendant in court and does not address case law which prevents the Legislature from waiving the State’s immunity from suit.