West Virginia legislature to battle over business tax repeal

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Only a handful of states still collect what are known as the business inventory and equipment tax, and West Virginia is one of them. Think of it as a property tax on a businesses’ equipment and goods. Critics believe the tax discourages companies from moving here or expanding existing operations. Republican legislative leaders will propose the tax be repealed.

State Senate President Mitch Carmichael said, “And I’m hopeful that it gets adopted because it is a job-killing tax in our state. It’s costing our citizens jobs. It’s costing our counties money in terms of new revenue growth for the potential for the jobs.”

But the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy says the tax raised $209 million dollars in state revenue last year. Much of that money is then sent to county governments and school boards. Critics of the repeal effort, worry that could have dire consequences.

Delegate Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha County, said, “That’s the revenue that goes to the counties. We’d be leaving it to the counties to make up for it. My concern is they would have to make up for it by raising the real property tax on people. Taxes on people’s houses.”

The Legislature tried to repeal the tax last year, but the effort failed.

“Repeal of the Business and Inventory Tax would require amending the West Virginia Constitution. First, it would need a two-thirds approval from the House and Senate. And if it passes there it would be up to voters to decide the issue,” Mark Curtis, 13 News.

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