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Legislative Lookahead: Lawmakers to focus on ‘Onerous’ West Virginia inventory tax


Senator Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha, talks about possible tax legislation during the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead Friday, Jan. 5, in Charleston. West Virginia Press Association Photo

The Intelligencer of Wheeling

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Finance leaders in the West Virginia Legislature told state media Friday there will be an emphasis on eliminating the state’s inventory tax this session.

Tax and financial issues were among those addressed by panelists participating in the annual Legislative Lookahead sponsored by the West Virginia Press Association at the Charleston Gazette-Mail offices in the state capital.

Lawmakers convene for their 60-day regular session on Wednesday.

“I agree … that the inventory tax is the most onerous tax we have,” said Sen. Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha, chairman of the Joint Committee on Tax Reform. “I wish we would have started with that last year, (rather) than trying to eliminate the personal income tax. But we have to do it without impacting the personal property taxes of individuals.”

Delegate Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, a member of the House Finance Committee, said if lawmakers eliminate the inventory tax, other moves must be made to ensure the revenue stream to local governments and school districts isn’t impacted.

“Adding additional volatility doesn’t seem appropriate at this time,” he said.  …

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