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Sales Tax Bill Dead in the House

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography
House Finance Chairman, Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha County.

Members of the House of Delegates have killed a bill that would have reduced the state’s consumer sales tax while removing exemptions for certain types of professional services.

House Bill 2704 was tabled on a 92-2 vote in the House.

On Saturday, the bill was passed out of the House Finance Committee and also pushed forward on first reading.

The committee version of the bill would have reduced the state’s sales tax to 5.5 percent beginning January 1, 2017, while closing loopholes in some services that are exempt from the tax.

It was expected to bring in an additional $70 million dollars in the first calendar year, imposing the tax on legal, accounting and engineering services, just to name a few. After that, the bill proposed continued to reduce the sales tax, aiming to reach 4.75 percent by January 1, 2020.

House Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson said both sides of the aisle had concerns and leadership felt it was best to table the bill.

Minority Leader Tim Miley made the motion to table the bill initially Monday afternoon, but his motion was rejected.

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