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Business Inventory Tax Repeal Clears First Committee Hurdle

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography
House Finance Vice Chair Vernon Criss sits in a committee meeting on Jan. 18, 2019.

A measure that would help clear the way for a repeal of the state’s business inventory, machinery and equipment tax has cleared its first committee hurdle.

House Joint Resolution 17 was approved by the House Finance Committee Wednesday. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow told the committee that between $250 million and $300 million in annual revenue could be lost between commercial and industrial business taxes.

That revenue goes toward financing public education, county commissions and municipal governments, with a small portion redirected to the state.

As a joint resolution, the measure requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate before leaving the question in the hands of West Virginia voters during the next general election in 2020.


In its current form, the resolution doesn’t specify exactly what types of businesses would be subject or whether that repeal would be phased out over the course of years. Instead, those plans would be left to a future Legislature to consider beginning in 2021.


The resolution now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.

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