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Introduced Version House Bill 4564 History

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H. B. 4564

 

         (By Delegates Shaver, Skaff, Michael, Williams, Mahan, Smith, Walker, Stowers, Perry and Butcher)


         [Introduced February 16, 2012; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary then Finance .]

 

 

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §11-13A-6b, relating to the creation of county endowment funds comprised of a reallocation of five percent of gas severance tax revenues dedicated to gas-producing counties phased in over a five-year period after accounting for revenues dedicated to other funds; establishing state and local gas county reallocated endowment funds and providing for distribution of the moneys to the county commissions by the State Treasurer; establishing amounts each gas-producing county to receive, requiring the creation of local endowment funds into which moneys to be deposited; requiring moneys be expended solely for economic development projects and infrastructure projects; providing definitions; providing restrictions on the expenditure of moneys; providing duties of State Tax Commissioner; requiring report of expenditures to Joint Committee on Government and Finance; and authorizing legislative and emergency rules.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §11-13A-6b, to read as follows:

ARTICLE 13A. SEVERANCE AND BUSINESS PRIVILEGE TAX ACT.

§11-13A-6b. Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund; reallocation and dedication of percentage of severance tax for benefit of gas-producing counties; phase-in period; permissible uses of distributed revenues; duties of State Treasurer and State Tax Commissioner; audits; rulemaking.

    (a) The purpose of this section is to provide for the reallocation and dedication of a portion of the tax attributable to the severance of gas imposed by section three-a of this article for the use and benefit of the various counties of this state in which the gas upon which that tax is imposed was located at the time it was severed from the ground. Those counties are referred to in this section as the gas-producing counties or, in the singular, as a gas-producing county.

    (b) Effective July 1, 2012, one percent of the tax attributable to the severance of gas imposed by section three-a of this article is dedicated and shall be distributed for the use and benefit of the gas-producing counties as provided in this section. Effective July 1, 2013, two percent of the tax attributable to the severance of gas imposed by section three-a of this article is dedicated and shall be distributed for the use and benefit of the gas-producing counties as provided in this section. Effective July 1, 2014, three percent of the tax attributable to the severance of gas imposed by section three-a of this article is dedicated and shall be distributed for the use and benefit of the gas-producing counties as provided in this section. Effective July 1, 2015, four percent of the tax attributable to the severance of gas imposed by section three-a of this article is dedicated and shall be distributed for the use and benefit of the gas-producing counties as provided in this section. Effective July 1, 2016, and thereafter, five percent of the tax attributable to the severance of gas imposed by section three-a of this article is dedicated and shall be distributed for the use and benefit of the gas-producing counties as provided in this section.

    (c) The amounts of the tax dedicated in subsection (b) of this section shall be deposited, from time to time, into a special fund known as the Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury, as the proceeds are received by the State Tax Commissioner.

    (d) The net proceeds of the deposits made into the Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund shall be allocated among and distributed quarterly to the gas-producing counties by the State Treasurer in the manner specified in this section. On or before each distribution date, the State Treasurer shall determine the total amount of moneys that will be available for distribution to the respective counties entitled to the moneys on that distribution date. The amount to which a gas-producing county is entitled from the Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund shall be determined in accordance with subsection (e) of this section. After determining as set forth in subsection (e) of this section the amount each gas-producing county is entitled to receive from the fund, a warrant of the State Auditor for the sum due to each gas-producing county shall be issued and a check drawn thereon making payment of that amount shall thereafter be distributed to each such gas-producing county by hand, mail commercial delivery or electronic transmission.

    (e) The amount to which a gas-producing county is entitled from the Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund shall be determined by:

    (1) Dividing the total amount of moneys in the fund then available for distribution by the total cubic feet of gas produced in this state during the preceding quarter; and

    (2) Multiplying the quotient thus obtained by the cubic feet of gas produced in the county during the preceding quarter.

    (f) (1) No distribution made to a county under this section may be deposited into the county’s General Revenue Fund. The county commission of each county receiving a distribution under this section shall establish a special account to be known as the “(Name of County) County Reallocated Endowment Fund” into which all distributions made to that county under this section shall be deposited.

    (2) Moneys in the county’s Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund shall be expended by the county commission solely for economic development projects and infrastructure projects.

    (3) For purposes of this section:

    (A) “Economic development project” means a project in the state which is likely to foster economic growth and development in the area in which the project is developed for commercial, industrial, community improvement or preservation or other proper purposes.

    (B) “Infrastructure project” means a project in the state which is likely to foster infrastructure improvements including, but not limited to, post-mining land use, any water or wastewater facilities or any part thereof, storm water systems, steam, gas, telephone and telecommunications, broadband development, electric lines and installations, roads, bridges, railroad spurs, drainage and flood control facilities, industrial park development or buildings that promote job creation and retention.

    (4) A county commission may not expend any of the funds available in its Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund for personal services, for the costs of issuing bonds, or for the payment of bond debt service, and shall direct the total funds available in its Gas County Reallocated Endowment Fund to project development, which may include the costs of architectural and engineering plans, site assessments, site remediation, specifications and surveys and other expenses necessary or incidental to determining the feasibility or practicability of an economic development project or infrastructure project.

    (g) On or before December 31, 2013, and December 1 of each year thereafter, the county commission of each county receiving a distribution of funds under this section shall deliver to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance a written report setting forth the specific projects for which those funds were expended during the next preceding fiscal year, a detailed account of those expenditures, and a showing that the expenditures were made for the purposes required by this section.

    (h) An audit of any funds distributed under this section may be authorized at any time by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to be conducted by the Legislative Auditor at no cost to the county commission or county commissions audited.

    (i) The State Tax Commissioner shall propose for legislative approval rules pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the administration of the provisions of this section, and is authorized to promulgate emergency rules for those purposes pursuant to that article.



    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create county endowment funds comprised of a reallocation of five percent of gas severance tax revenues dedicated to gas-producing counties phased in over a five-year period after accounting for revenues dedicated to other funds; to establish state and local gas county reallocated endowment funds and provide for distribution of the moneys to the county commissions by the State Treasurer; establishing amounts each gas-producing county to receive, requiring the creation of local endowment funds into which moneys to be deposited; requiring moneys be expended solely for economic development projects and infrastructure projects; providing definitions; providing restrictions on the expenditure of moneys; providing duties of State Tax Commissioner; requiring report of expenditures to Joint Committee on Government and Finance; and authorizing legislative and emergency rules.



    §11-13A-6b is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.

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