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Meals tax back on the menu at West Virginia 2108 Legislature


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — Allowing voters of localities to decide whether to enact a meals tax could be one component of a plan to compensate for the loss of tax revenue if an “anti-business” personal property tax is eliminated.

The meals tax option resurfaced again recently when some state legislators said they want to end the personal property tax on businesses’ machinery, equipment and inventory, saying it hurts economic development by discouraging companies to locate in the state and existing companies from expanding or retooling.

State Sen. Chandler Swope (R-6th District) said the tax is “a job-killer and anti-business” and he wants to start the process of eliminating the tax during the 2018 session of the state Legislature.

 One of the problems, though, is that counties would lose the tax revenue, which can be substantial.

Todd Kendall, chief office deputy for the Mercer County assessor’s office, said the annual revenue from that portion of the personal property tax is about $5.5 million.

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