CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A economics expert told members of the state legislature’s Select Committee on Tax Reform Monday that in many cases state residents have made choices to raise their own property taxes.

Dr. Cal Kent was on the agenda at the state capitol–the latest in more than a half dozen meetings the select committee has held in recent months.

On the subject of property taxes, Kent said only six of the state’s 55 counties are without a voter approved education excess levy. Other counties have school construction bonds, ambulance levies, library levies and fire protection levies approved by voters in elections.

“A lot of these property taxes that people complain about they’ve put on themselves with excess levies,” Kent said.

The numbers show West Virginia as the lowest in the nation when it comes to the owner-occupied residential property taxes, but the various levies increase those.

“That’s where you are getting your bump in property taxes and people think it’s all the responsibility of the state and it’s not,” Kent said.

The select committee also heard Monday from Tax Foundation Policy Analyst Jared Walczak on the subject of property tax reform.

The committee is expected to have some recommendations for the full legislature to consider during next year’s regular session.