Kanawha County officials react to WV Senate tax proposal

West Virginia

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The agenda was full at Thursday night’s Kanawha County Commission meeting, but the most mentioned topic of the night was not on the agenda.

SJR9 and SB837 would eliminate the state’s business inventory and equipment tax. The senate bill would replace the money currently raised by the state business inventory and equipment tax with increases in the state sales tax as well as increases in taxes on tobacco and vaping products.

But Kanawha County Commissioners warn that the proposed legislation would have drastic, negative impacts on county agencies and “leave a $300 million hole in the budgets of local governments statewide.”

“The truth is they are trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They need to stick to the state’s business and figure out how to fix there own budget and quit messing with ours,” said Commissioner Ben Salango.

Commission President W. Kent Carper stated, “If passed, this legislation would gut law enforcement, fire service, ambulance transports and the KRT bus service.  Likewise, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the Circuit Clerk’s office, the County Clerk and County Parks and Recreation would all suffer irreparable harm.” 

At the capitol, supporters of the bill argue that it will help the overall economy of the Mountain State.

“90% of the businesses in the state have less than 100 employees. We have a lot of small places, small businesses. All of those places are going to benefit and that’s a good thing.”

The bill will be read for the second time on Friday, February 21.

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