Senate Bill No. 439
(By Senators Fitzsimmons, Kessler (Mr. President), Beach, Edgell and Yost)
[Introduced January 27, 2014; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §7-22-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to permitting the Ohio county commission to levy a special district excise tax; and increasing the Fort Henry economic opportunity development project district from three hundred to five hundred contiguous acres of land.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-22-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 22. COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS.
§7-22-9. Authorization to levy special district excise tax.
(a) General. -– County commissions have no inherent authority to levy taxes and have only that authority expressly granted to them by the Legislature. The Legislature is specifically extended, and intends by this article, to exercise certain relevant powers expressed in section six-a, article X of the Constitution of this state as follows: (1) The Legislature may appropriate state funds for use in matching or maximizing grants-in-aid for public purposes from the United States or any department, bureau, commission or agency thereof, or any other source, to any county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, under such circumstances and subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Legislature may prescribe by law; and (2) the Legislature may impose a state tax or taxes or dedicate a state tax or taxes or any portion thereof for the benefit of and use by counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state for public purposes, the proceeds of any such imposed or dedicated tax or taxes or portion thereof to be distributed to such counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state under such circumstances and subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Legislature may prescribe.
Because a special district excise tax would have the effect of diverting, for a specified period of years, tax dollars which to the extent, if any, are not essentially incremental to tax dollars currently paid into the General Revenue Fund of the state, the Legislature finds that in order to substantially ensure that such special district excise taxes will not adversely impact the current level of the General Revenue Fund of the state, it is necessary for the Legislature to separately consider and act upon each and every economic development district which is proposed, including the unique characteristics of location, current condition and activity of and within the area included in such proposed economic opportunity development district and that for such reasons a statute more general in ultimate application is not feasible for accomplishment of the intention and purpose of the Legislature in enacting this article. Therefore, no economic opportunity development district excise tax may be levied by a county commission until after the Legislature expressly authorizes the county commission to levy a special district excise tax on sales of tangible personal property and services made within district boundaries approved by the Legislature.
(b) Authorizations. -– The Legislature authorizes the following county commissions to levy special district excise taxes on sales of tangible personal property and services made from business locations in the following economic opportunity development districts:
(1) The Ohio County Commission may levy a special district excise tax for the benefit of the Fort Henry Economic Opportunity Development project District which comprises three five hundred contiguous acres of land;
(2) The Harrison County Commission may levy a special district excise tax for the benefit of the Charles Pointe Economic Opportunity Development District which comprises four hundred thirty-seven acres of land; and
(3) The Monongalia County Commission may levy a special district excise tax for the benefit of the University Town Centre Economic Opportunity District which comprises approximately one thousand four hundred fifty contiguous acres of land.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the Fort Henry economic opportunity development project district from three hundred to five hundred contiguous acres of land.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.