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Legislative Lookahead: Eliminating state’s tangible property tax a top priority for WV lawmakers


The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — Eliminating the tangible personal property tax is one of the top priorities in the West Virginia Legislature this year, according to legislators at the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead on Friday in Charleston.

Delegate Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, Speaker of the W.Va. House of Delegates

A tax on movable property like furniture, computers, cars and inventory, the tangible personal property tax only affects businesses, and Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, said he believes it is the biggest hindrance to being able to recruit new businesses.

The biggest roadblock to eliminating the tax is a lot of the funds go to the public schools and the money would have to be made up elsewhere. Armstead said he has been working with the counties and schools to come up with a plan.

Armstead’s plan is to phase out the tax over seven years, costing about $20 million a year. Armstead said he believes the money can be made up with efficiencies made elsewhere in government.

“For the first time, we have real potential to have everyone on board and start on the road to eliminate this tax,” Armstead said. “At least we will be moving in the right direction.” …

Sen. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha and chairman of Finance, said they learned their lesson last year to not include tax structuring in the budget bill, saying it should be worked out in interim meetings or in a special session. …

Delegate Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, talks about possible tax legislation during the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead Friday, Jan. 5, in Charleston. From left, Delegate Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, and Senator Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha, and Delegate Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, listen to Boggs’ comments. West Virginia Press Association Photo

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