From Frank Deem
West Virginia imposes a tax on business inventory and equipment. This tax is a real impediment to attracting or expanding new business. A legislative committee is considering eliminating this tax. Few if any other states have a tax that has a negative impact on business development. Problem is that this personal property tax on equipment and inventory brings in about $270 million per year. This money is used to finance education, local government and state government.
Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher is on a mission to eliminate the property tax on inventory, machinery and equipment. He says “the tax is one of the core issues that make West Virginia uncompetitive with other states. Pennsylvania and Ohio do not have a tax on machinery and equipment and Virginia has a low rate with many exemptions. Only 14 states impose a tax on business inventory and only seven states tax manufacturing.” West Virginia taxes both.
The state of Michigan is experiencing an economic turnaround by passing a right-to-work law along with eliminating their personal property tax. While we have passed a right-to-work law we need a vote of the people to eliminate the personal property taxes on business. We first need to replace the lost revenue from another source. This money could come from eliminating some of the exemptions from our consumer sales tax on certain businesses.
It is my hope and belief that the Legislature will come up with a solution to this problem.
Delegate Frank Deem
WV’s longest serving legislator